Temer: Energy reactor and laboratory will bring development to Brazil
Two important steps for Brazilian health and science were taken this morning (8 June) in Iperó, state of São Paulo, where President Temer attended the ceremony to unveil a commemorative plaque for the launch of the Brazilian Multipurpose Reactor (RMB). The RMB will make Brazil self-sufficient in the production of inputs for cancer treatment, and also marks the start of operations of the Nuclear Power Generation Laboratory (Labgene). "The two beautiful projects we are celebrating here today, the reactor and Labgene, raise our standing in science and technology and, in fact, promote the development of Brazil," the president said.
Operated under the responsibility of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC), the RMB will be built in a 2.04-million-m² area in Iperó provided by the Brazilian Navy and the São Paulo state government. When completed, it will be able to produce radioisotopes used especially for the treatment of cancer. "We will produce the material for SUS [Brazil's Unified Healthcare System] at lower prices and make therapies more accessible, bringing hope to those who are ill and need help," Temer explained. Currently, Brazil needs to import these chemicals.
To make the venture viable, the president signed an agreement with Argentine president Maurício Macri late last year that allowed Brazil to begin the detailed design of the nuclear systems for the future construction of the RMB. Between now and 2022, the Brazilian government will invest R$ 750 million in the project, R$ 30 million of which by the end of this year.
The Labgene, in turn, will serve as the on-land prototype for the construction of the first nuclear submarine made in Brazil. In addition to showing optimism with the initiative, Temer said it could bring important social benefits. "This could be the place where we conceive anything from processes to desalinate sea water to power generators to serve the most remote areas of the country," he pointed out.
When in full operation, Labgene will house a nuclear plant with 48 Megawatts of thermal power, enough to light a city of approximately 20,000 people.