Argentina : one of the top exporters of nuclear technology

Argentina : one of the top exporters of nuclear technology

Argentina sold recently a nuclear reactor to the Netherlands. The scope of this long-term policy has the stamp of INVAP, a state company of Rio Negro that has two directors of the national state and an extensive international prestige. In addition to the contract with the Pallas Foundation of Holland for the design and construction of a radioisotope research and production reactor for medicinal uses in the city of Petten, Netherlands.

INVAP won in the tender the proposals that had been submitted by South Korea and France. It is a contract signed by INVAP with Dutch Pallas.

Argentina will obtain about 400 million dollars for technology of the reactor of 35 MW. Currently, some 10,000 European hospitals use these radioisotopes produced by the reactor and every year more than 40 million diagnostic procedures and treatments are performed, in most of them, oncological cases. The INVAP offer was chosen in June 2009, but at that time the authorities decided to discontinue the project due to the global economic crisis, until in 2015 the Pallas Foundation called for a new tender and Argentina won it. INVAP had to compete with five companies worldwide.

A reactor to Brazil. The other project that INVAP signed with Brazil two months ago was the sale of engineering for the development of a high-tech research RMB reactor. The cost of this agreement was 35 million. There is also a research agreement for two reactors, intended for the production of radioisotopes, the carrying out of irradiation tests on fuel and materials and research with neutron beams. They will have a capacity of 30 MW and will be developed taking as reference the OPAL reactor designed and built by INVAP for the Australian Organization of Nuclear Science and Technology (ANSTO) and inaugurated in April 2007.

Assistance to Bolivia. Argentina developed another nuclear project for Bolivia that is in process and consists of three nuclear research assistance centers. The intention of INVAP in this case is to develop a Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy of the latest technology , which will have three components: a cyclotron (generator of radioisotopes, tumor marker), a Pet Scan (scanning system) and a Linear Accelerator (for a focused treatment). In addition, a Radiopharmaceutical Production Center will be implemented in the Nuclear Citadel in Tarija.

The purchase of Saudi Arabia. In March of next year the project of the sale of a small LPRL reactor to Saudi Arabia for an estimated value of 20 million dollars will be finalized . It is a small 1 MG thermal reactor, but this initiative agreed with the Saudis opens an advantage of opportunities for Argentina since Saudi Arabia and the rest of the countries in the region are investing millions of dollars in renewable energy to the long term taking into account that in 50 years the oil will leave a central source of financing.

Although currently 70% of INVAP contracts are related to the national State, the long-term intention is to give a more export profile to Argentina’s nuclear projects. There are other countries like the United States, Russia and China interested in the nuclear technology of Argentina. A nuclear activity with great potential and focus on research is currently being developed in the country. But there are clear intentions of the Macri government to support the INVAP projects in everything that has to do with the development of a business model with foreign partners. “There will be funds and resources for INVAP,” said an official at the Casa Rosada. Hence the relevance of Macri’s announcement with Holland and the other projects on an international scale.

Meanwhile, the specialist in nuclear energy issues and director of the NPS Global Foundation, Irma Argüello, remarked that “export projects such as the Netherlands serve to position INVAP as a leading provider of nuclear technology in the international market. and this speaks of the international recognition of Argentine nuclear technology, unparalleled in our region. For this, it is not enough to develop nuclear technology with excellence, but our country must be perceived as a nation that promotes nonproliferation “.


INVAP is a company dedicated to the design and construction of complex technological systems, with a history of forty years in the national market and thirty on the international scene. Its mission is the development of advanced technology in different fields of industry, science and applied research, creating “technological packages” of high added value both to meet national needs and to enter foreign markets through export.

Its main activities are focused on Nuclear areas; Space; Government and Defense; Industrial Technology and Alternative Energies;. It has designed and manufactured several research and production reactors of radioisotopes in different parts of the world, low orbit satellites for ground observation, various industrial plants, radar systems and radiant therapy centers, among other developments.

At the local level, INVAP maintains a close relationship with the National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) and the National Commission for Space Activities (CONAE), entities with which it has carried out large-scale projects. At the international level, the company is related to numerous organizations, among which the North American space agency NASA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Australian Organization of Nuclear Science and Technology (ANSTO) and the Atomic Energy Authority of Egypt (AEA).

85% of the INVAP staff consists of highly specialized professionals and technicians, organized in dynamic structures that facilitate the adaptation of the work groups to the different projects developed by the company.

INVAP is qualified under ISO 9001: 2008 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001: 2004 (Environmental Management) standards.

About Author

Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.