Nuclear science to control mosquitoes and generate clean energy a focus of Director General Grossii’s visit to Brazil

Nuclear science to control mosquitoes and generate clean energy a focus of Director General Grossii’s visit to Brazil


In a pilot project in the Brasilia Teimosa district of Recife, Pernambuco, sterile male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are released every week. (Photo: D. Calma / IAEA)

Since October 2020, between 250,000 and 350,000 sterile males have been released every week on an area of ​​60 hectares. The releases – the first in an urban setting – have already resulted in a 19 percent reduction in the wild mosquito population in the area. Moscamed Brasil was named an IAEA Collaborating Center in 2018 and now offers experts and training courses for countries such as Mauritius, South Africa and Thailand in various SIT projects.

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In a pilot project in the Brasilia Teimosa district of Recife, Pernambuco, sterile male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are released every week. (Photo: D. Calma / IAEA)

Since October 2020, between 250,000 and 350,000 sterile males have been released every week on an area of ​​60 hectares. The releases – the first in an urban setting – have already resulted in a 19 percent reduction in the wild mosquito population in the area. Moscamed Brasil was named an IAEA Collaborating Center in 2018 and now offers experts and training courses for countries such as Mauritius, South Africa and Thailand in various SIT projects.

Mr Grossi also visited the Regional Center for Nuclear Science at Pernambuco State University as well as the Nuclear Science Museum which is doing a fantastic job of demystifying nuclear technology and promoting STEM education, he said.

On Friday, Mr. Grossi visited Brazil’s only nuclear power plant in Angra dos Reis, on the coast between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The plant has two operating reactors with a total output of 1,884 MW (e), a third is under construction and supplies around 2.1 percent of Brazil’s electricity. In 2020, Brazil passed a national plan that aims to increase the country’s installed nuclear power capacity by 10 gigawatts by 2050.

“Brazil has a very developed and ambitious nuclear power program,” said the Director General, “and the IAEA is ready to continue our good cooperation with the country in this area.”

On Saturday, Mr. Grossi will visit the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute (IPEN) at the University of Sao Paulo. The institute works in several nuclear science areas and operates the country’s first research reactor. It is also doing research on the industrial uses of radiation, such as the sterilization of face masks for the population, the modification of plastics and the preservation of cultural artifacts, and will be responsible for the operation of Brazil’s 30 MW multipurpose research reactor that contributes to the country the use of radiopharmaceuticals will help diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer.

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