Celebrations herald Bangladesh nuclear plant

03 October 2013

The foundation stone has been laid at the Rooppur site after Russia and Bangladesh signed an initial contract on the construction of the country's first nuclear power plant.

Rooppur inauguration (PM of Bangladesh)_380
Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and Rosatom head Sergei Kiryenko applaud the laying of the foundation stone for the Rooppur plant (Image: PM of Bangladesh)

The contract signed by NIAEP-ASE president Valery Limarenko and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission chairman Abu Sayed Mohammed Firoz is a technical agreement covering the design stage of the project, which is expected to take about two years to complete and will form the basis for obtaining the necessary licences and starting construction of the plant. A contract for the implementation of construction works is to be signed in November.

Rooppur's two reactors will be based on a modified version of the NPP-2006 VVER (pressurized water reactor), designed exclusively for the site on the eastern bank of the river Ganges 160 km from Dhaka. AtomEnergoProekt (AEP) is to carry out design and survey work at the site, and the final design selection will depend on site-specific conditions. Site preparation is expected to begin in early 2014, with construction beginning in earnest in 2015. The project is expected to take around five years, with the first unit beginning operation in 2020.

Russia agreed to build the Rooppur plant in an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2011, and agreed to provide $500 million to finance preparatory work including engineering surveys, and is to provide future loans to finance the actual construction project.

Empowering the people

The contract-signing and foundation stone-laying activities were preceded by the inauguration of a new nuclear information centre to inform the citizens of Bangladesh about nuclear power. The Dhaka centre is the 18th such centre to be set up since 2008 in regions hosting or planning to use Russian nuclear technology, and is the third outside Russia. Overseas centres were opened in Vietnam (Hanoi) and Turkey (Mersin) in 2012. A second Turkish centre is expected to open in Istanbul later this year, with a centre at Minsk in Belarus planned to open in 2014.

At the inauguration ceremony, Bangladesh science and technology minister Yafseh Osman said the new centre was "real proof" of effective cooperation between Russian and Bangladeshi specialists. "Now any citizen of Bangladesh can obtain basic knowledge of nuclear power," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News