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President Macri announces Argentina to build nuclear reactor for medicinal use in the Netherlands

Argentine technology developer INVAP and Foundation Pallas signed a contract for the design and construction of a nuclear reactor for the research and development of radioisotopes for medical use.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced today the signing of a contract between Foundation Pallas and state-owned Argentine technology developer INVAP, for the design and construction of a nuclear reactor for the research and development of radioisotopes for medical use in the city of Petten, in the northern Netherlands.

This technological project of high added value cements Argentina’s reputation in the field of peaceful nuclear activity, and as a leader in the development of nuclear reactors for research.

President Macri made the announcement during a meeting in Davos, Switzerland, with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.

Pallas CEO Hermen Van der Lugt and INVAP CEO and General Manager Vicente Campenni signed the contract today in The Hague.

Petten’s current High Flux Reactor supplies 60 per cent of radioisotopes in Europe. As it draws to the end of its operational life, the decision was made to replace it.

In December 2007, the Netherlands issued a tender for a new reactor. Bids came from AREVA TA of France, KAERI of South Korea, and INVAP, based in Argentina’s Río Negro province.

The Argentine state-owned company, created in the 1970s, was chosen in June 2009.  Due to the global financial crisis, however, the authorities decided to halt the project until 2015, when the Pallas Foundation issued a new tender.

The project is divided into two stages: (i) engineering, procuring the construction permit, refining the business plan, and securing finance; and (ii) the construction of the reactor itself.

The INVAP bid was ultimately successful thanks to the company’s excellent reputation, and because of endorsements from President Macri, the office of the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Argentine Embassy to the Netherlands, and the Ministry of Energy and Mining.

The support of the provincial government of Río Negro was also important for the bid’s success. Provincial Law 5218 expanded backing for INVAP’s international projects, allowing for the procurement of bank guarantees necessary in international contracts and the support of the National Atomic Energy Commission.

INVAP is based in San Carlos de Bariloche and has been operational for 40 years, 30 of which have been at international level.

Its main activities are focused in the following areas: nuclear, space, government and defence, industrial technology and alternative energies, information and communication technology (ICT), and technology services.

INVAP has designed and manufactured research and production reactors for radioisotopes in different parts of the world, as well as low Earth orbit satellites for Earth observation, telecommunications satellites, radar systems, industrial plants and centres for nuclear medicine.

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