President Michel Temer participated in the cornerstone-laying ceremony of the Brazilian Multipurpose Reactor and the beginning of integration tests for the turbogenerators of the Nucleoelectric Energy Generation Laboratory, in Iperó, São Paulo.
The reactor will produce radioisotopes for the production of medication used in the treatment against diseases in the fields of cardiology, oncology, hematology, and neurology. “Today, we have to import pharmaceuticals to fight a number of disease, especially cancer. The treatment gets more complicated, and, of course, more expensive, as the country depends on foreigner providers,” the president said.
The reactor, Temer went on to note, will enable Brazil’s public hospitals to increase the number of cases of cancer assisted, in addition to cutting treatment costs, as medications will be sold at cost price. The technology will also make the production of radioactive sources possible for industry, agriculture, and the environment. The reactor is expected to be brought into operation in 2014.
Brazil’s Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna, who also took part in the event, said that the reactor is part of the Brazilian Navy’s nuclear program, aimed solely at peaceful purposes. “The reactor will be provided with an infrastructure including laboratory capable of gauging the effects of radiation,” the minister said.
The technology will bring Brazil to the forefront of nuclear medicine, as it will become self-sufficient in the production of radioisotopes. Since the number of reactors of this size is low across the world, Brazil will also be able to export the technology.