Nicaragua Will Use Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes, in Cooperation with Russia

    Nicaragua and Russia will implement cooperation in the areas of design, construction and modernization of nuclear research facilities

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    The National Assembly (Parliament) of Nicaragua authorized last Tuesday the Government of Daniel Ortega to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes, with the cooperation of Russia, one of its allies. The “Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua and that of the Russian Federation on cooperation in the field of non-energetic applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes” was approved with 80 votes in favor of the Sandinistas and their allies, compared to 10 against and 1 who did not vote, of the 91 legislators that make up Parliament.

    According to the content of that agreement, signed on March 29th, 2023, Russia will provide cooperation to Nicaragua in the field of non-energetic applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, particularly in medicine, industry, agriculture and science in accordance with the requirements and priorities of their national nuclear programs.

    Nicaragua and Russia will implement cooperation in the areas of design, construction, and modernization of nuclear research facilities, particle accelerators, neutron generators, and other sources of ionizing radiation for use in agriculture, medicine, industry, science, environmental monitoring and other fields, according to the agreement. In addition, services will be provided for the management of nuclear materials and materials and substances that are not subject to further use, as well as equipment, products (including spent sources of ionizing radiation) containing radionuclides.

    Guarantee of nuclear and radiological safety

    Likewise, the agreement contemplates, among other things, the guarantee of nuclear and radiological safety, and reaction to emergency situations, and the dismantling of nuclear research facilities. Additionally, it considers the possibilities of building a nuclear science and technology center in Nicaraguan territory.

    Sandinista deputy Iris Montenegro, president of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in plenary session that the agreement does not contradict the Nicaraguan Constitution. Nicaragua and Russia had agreed to cooperate in the field of atomic energy in December 2021, although it was not until October 2022 that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega authorized the signing of a road map and in March 2023, the final agreement.

    Peaceful use of atomic energy

    On April 19th, Ortega received the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in Managua, with whom they reviewed bilateral cooperation and explored the possibility of expanding it, according to the head of Russian diplomacy. Lavrov then recalled that among the many agreements signed by Nicaragua and Russia is one “very important on the peaceful use of atomic energy”, signed last March, which will not be for energy purposes “but for the production of medicines”.

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