LA PAZ – The International Atomic Energy Agency will assist Bolivia with its plans for a peaceful nuclear energy program, a representative of that organization, Pablo Delfang, said on Friday.
Delfang is in Bolivia at the invitation of President Evo Morales’ administration to advise authorities on this project.
“If a country makes the sovereign decision to enter the nuclear energy arena and asks for assistance,” the IAEA will ensure that “all global standards of excellence in terms of safety, good technological practices and the best processes are applied,” he told the state-run ABI news agency.
A country starting from scratch needs between seven and 10 years to fully set up the infrastructure required to produce nuclear energy, the IAEA representative said.
Once all the phases are completed, the IAEA will provide assurances that the country’s use of nuclear energy is for peaceful purposes, he added.
President Evo Morales announced in October that the Andean nation would take its first steps to create a nuclear energy program before year’s end, saying the proposed nuclear energy plants are to be located in western Bolivia and require a total investment outlay of more than $2 billion.
Morales said a PET/CT cyclotron facility, a type of particle accelerator; a nuclear power reactor; and a nuclear research reactor will be installed in the Andean province of La Paz.
Russia, Argentina and France are potential partners of Bolivia in this effort.