Rooppur 2 outer dome progress, nuclear fuel set for October delivery

20 September 2023

The lower tier of the outer dome of the second unit of the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh has been lifted into place. Meanwhile Rosatom says it expects to deliver the first fuel to the plant in October.

(Image: Rosatom)

The installation of the lower tier of the outer containment dome on unit 2 was a process lasting five hours as the 46.3-metre diameter, 200-tonnes tier was lifted into its design position at an elevation of 48.8 metres.

Rooppur nuclear power plant construction project director Alexey Deriy said: "The outer containment is one of the key localising safety systems. It is a reinforced concrete structure protecting the reactor plant from external impacts, which is able to withstand an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane."

Russia's VVER-1200 reactors feature a double containment system, to maximise safety. The inner containment around the reactor building was installed in June 2022 and concreted in May 2023.

Rosatom in February 2011 signed an agreement for two reactors to be built at Rooppur for the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission. The initial contract for the project, worth USD12.65 billion, was signed in December 2015. The Rooppur plant, 160 kilometres from the capital Dhaka, features two Russian VVER-1200 reactors. Construction of the first unit began in November 2017 and it is scheduled to be commissioned in 2024. Construction of the second unit at Rooppur began in July 2018.

Last month the first fuel for Rooppur unit 1's initial load was formally accepted by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) after an inspection at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant in Russia. The final protocol and licences that allow BAEC to take delivery of the fuel for the 1200 MWe VVER pressurised water reactor were signed earlier this year.

According to a report in Rosatom's in-house publication Strana Rosatom, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, following negotiations with the Bangladeshi authorities, the fuel would be delivered in October.

The arrival of the first nuclear fuel at a plant is seen as a significant moment, with Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev saying it marks "the transition of the nuclear power plant under construction to the status of a nuclear facility and will make Bangladesh a member of the nuclear club, which includes countries that exploit peaceful nuclear energy".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News