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SA and Russia sign nuclear medicine agreement

The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and Russian state-owned nuclear corporation, Rusatom, have signed a R1.4bn co-operative agreement to develop two small reactors for nuclear medicine in the fight against cancer.

According to an IoL report, Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane, emphasised that these reactors were for the production of nuclear medicine, not the generation of power. Tshelane said that early detection of cancer allows for the costs for treatment to be brought down, adding that Necsa supplies close to 28% of the world's medical isotopes, which is used in the detection of cancer.

"Nuclear medicine is the most effective method in the early detection of cancer. The earlier cancer is detected the more likely it is to respond positively to treatment and this generally results in a greater probability of recovery," Tshelane said at the signing ceremony.

Denis Cherednichenko, director-general of Rusatom Healthcare, said that both parties have a great deal of expertise in this sector. "We believe that a combined effort will open up new markets and hasten new technological advancements in the sector," he said. "Nuclear medicine is rapidly expanding globally and plays a vitally important role in the early detection of cancers and other non-communicable diseases."

[link url="https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/brics-russian-firm-to-develop-nuclear-reactors-for-sa-to-fight-cancer-16263079"]IoL report[/link]

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