Russia is to build Bangladesh's first nuclear power plant under an intergovernmental cooperation agreement signed today in Dhaka.
|Kiriyenko and Osman sign the agreement (Image: Bangladeshi prime minister’s office)
The agreement was signed by Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, and Yafesh Osman, Bangladesh's minister of state for science, information and communication technologies. The signing ceremony was attended by dignitaries including Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
Under the agreement, Russia will construct two 1000 MWe reactors at Rooppur, in Pabna district, about 200 km from the capital, Dhaka. It specifies that Rosatom's AtomStroyExport division will act as the contractor, while the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission will be the customer.
Russia will also support Bangladesh in developing the necessary infrastructure for the proposed plant. The agreement calls for Russia to provide fuel for the plant on a long-term basis, as well as taking back the used fuel for long-term management and permanent disposal. Russia will also train workers to operate the plant. A separate agreement will be signed for Russia to provide the necessary financing for the Rooppur plant’s construction.
"Energy for us is a very important question. We need to develop it," Hasina said. "However, for us it is also important that all safety requirements and precautions" for the construction of nuclear power plants are met.
Kiriyenko said that the proposed reactors "will meet all the international post-Fukushima requirements." He noted that the plant will feature double containment, a passive heat removal system, hydrogen recombiners, a core catcher, as well as other safety features.
According to a Reuters report, Osman said that construction of the reactors at Rooppur would begin by 2013 and will take five years to complete.
Russia, China and South Korea had earlier offered financial and technical help to establish nuclear power in Bangladesh. In March 2009, Russia made a formal proposal to construct a nuclear power plant in the country. The Bangladeshi government approved this proposal the following month.
The latest agreement between the two countries follows the signing of an intergovernmental agreement in May 2010 on cooperation in the field of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. That agreement provided a legal framework for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News