Alexey Likhachev and Nenad Popovic signing the framework agreement (Rosatom)
Serbia has signed a deal with Russian nuclear engineer Rosatom to build a technology centre in the country, including a cyclotron complex to produce radioactive isotopes for use in medicine.

The centre will be built over the next three years, according to a statement released yesterday by Rosatom and Serbian innovation minister Nenad Popovic.

The agreement follows a visit to Serbia by Russian president Vladimir Putin in January 2019, which resulted in an intergovernmental agreement to cooperate on nuclear research. The sides also adopted a joint statement on the strategic partnership between the countries for the construction of the technology centre.

The statement said a general framework agreement was reached to construct a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology, however it did not mention a location or a cost, or whether there would be a 20MW research reactor which was part of the 2019 agreements.

Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom’s director general, commented: “We are very happy that, together with our Serbian partners, we have identified the specific steps and a preliminary timeline for implementing this project, which employs Russian innovative nuclear technologies.

“The radiopharmaceutical complex and the nuclear medicine centre will provide Serbian citizens with high-tech medical solutions to treat, above all, oncology conditions.”

World Nuclear News notes that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has expressed enthusiasm for buying into one or more of the nuclear plants being developed in nearby countries, such as Bulgaria’s Kozloduy plant and Hungary’s Paks II, which is also being built by Rosatom.

He said: “I will propose that we will participate in this with 5 or 10%, which is between €500m and €1bn, so that we can use part of this electricity.”

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