October 24, 2019 / 6:26 PM / 24 days ago

Russia's Rosatom, Rwanda sign deal to build nuclear science center

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state atomic company Rosatom has signed a deal with Rwanda to build a center of nuclear science and technologies, the Russian company said on Thursday, as it seeks to expand in Africa.

The center would carry out scientific research and ‘practical application’ of nuclear technologies, allowing production of radioisotopes for wider use in agriculture and other areas, Rosatom said in a statement.

The center will also have a research water-cooled reactor with up to 10 MW capacity, Rosatom said. The deal, as Rosatom hopes, would allow in the future to supply Rwanda with small modular reactors for power generation, a Rosatom official said.

Rosatom is the world’s biggest nuclear company by foreign orders, with a total of 36 nuclear blocks on order. The countries include Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Egypt, Finland, Hungary, India and Turkey.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Rosatom said it has agreed with Ethiopia to cooperate in developing nuclear infrastructure.

Rosatom was also in talks with South Africa on building more nuclear reactors there but President Cyril Ramaphosa put nuclear expansion plans on hold.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova in Moscow and Alexander Winning in Johannesburg; editing by Grant McCool

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