Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN) is one of the research units of the (Brazilian) National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN), an autarchy linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). Located in the campus of the Federal University of Minas Gerais State-UFMG, Pampulha quarter in Belo Horizonte, the CDTN acts in the research and development, education (post-graduation) and services provision in the nuclear field and related areas.
The main CDTN activities involve the areas of nuclear technology, minerals and materials, health and the environment. Highlighted areas are the treatment of radioactive waste, environmental monitoring and remediation, radiation metrology, development and production of radiopharmaceuticals, optimization of extraction processes and mineral purification, nanotechnology, structural integrity and management of mechanical components aging of large facilities. There is strong cooperation with the energy, health, and oil industry and environment sectors.
At the regional level, CDTN plays a significant role in the technological development and the provision of specialized services for the mineral and metallurgical sectors. Radiopharmaceuticals production for applications in positron emission tomography, calibration of radiation dosimeters and individual monitoring are examples of services offered to the community for the health area.
Considered as a major research institution in a 240,000 m2 with 42,000 m2 of built area, CDTN has a TRIGA nuclear research reactor a Research and Radiopharmaceuticals Production Unit and a Gamma Irradiation Laboratory, Pilot Facilities for Mineral Goods Processing, besides an excellent laboratory park with about 50 laboratories for physics and chemistry tests.
CDTN has a strong activity in the training of human resources in strategic areas with a broad scientific initiation scholarship program and short-term courses. CDTN Post-Graduation Program in Science and Technology of the Radiation, Minerals and Materials, created in 2003, is recognized by the CAPES in the modalities of master and doctorate academic levels.
CDTN was named as Institute for Radioactive Researches (IPR), when it was created in1952 by a group of professors from the UFMG’s Engineering School, led by Francisco de Assis Magalhães Gomes. Its initial activities included the research of radioactive mineral occurrences and physics and nuclear chemistry studies for metallurgy and materials of nuclear interest. Its r TRIGA (Training Research Isotope General Atomic) Mark 1 research reactor was inaugurated in 1960 to be dedicated to research, radioisotopes production and staff training.
The IPR joined the National Plan for Nuclear Energy in 1965, in an agreement signed between UFMG and CNEN. In 1972, the CDTN was separated from UFMG and transferred to the Brazilian Society of Nuclear Technology (CBTN) aiming the development of the nuclear technology.
In 1974, it CDTN was incorporated by the state-owned Brazilian Nuclear Companies S/A (NUCLEBRÁS), and in 1977, Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), with the role of supporting the technological development and to absorb the nuclear technology transferred under the Brazil-Germany agreement (1974-1988).
In that period, the CDTN worked intensely on uranium exploration, in the licensing of mining facilities, the processing uranium ore and the manufacture of fuel elements as well as training of the reactor operators for the Angra 1 Nuclear Power Plant
In 1988, CDTN returned to CNEN to have a more focused role for R & D and specialized training in the nuclear field and related areas. In this new phase, CDTN established closer cooperation with other research institutions, industry and government agencies, expanding its interaction with the society.