Bangladesh steps into elite club of nuclear energy producers
Bangladesh has stepped in the nuclear power producing club through receiving the main fuel of the plant uranium and certificate of fuel delivery and model of the fuel assembly from Russia. The first batch of fuel for operation of the much talked Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) received at a ceremony at RNPP site, Ishwardi, Pabna. Representative of ROSATOM handed over the Certificate and Model of Nuclear Fuel to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a function at its site as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Russian President Vladimir Putin virtually joined it. The model of the fuel assembly was handed over to Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman by ROSATOM Director General Alexy Likhachev at the ceremony at RNPP site, Ishwardi, Pabna. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the ceremony. With the establishment of the Rooppur nuclear power plant, Bangladesh has become the 33rd nuclear power-producing country in the world, said Yeafesh Osman. The Science and Technology minister hoped that this project would accelerae industrialization in the northern region of the country, which is comparatively marginalized. “Levelised cost of the nuke electricity would be cheaper than other existing fossil fuel-fired electricity, he added. Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Marino Grossi in his speech said that Bangladesh has been implementing the nuke plant following the IAEA guidelines and maintained the safety and security as per international rules. Alexy Likhachev said at least 2,000 Bangladeshi nationals will get job opportunities here. “We trained up 1000 Bangladeshi engineers and gave them world class training to operate the RNPP”, he said. A training center at the plant site has been established to train up next generation engineers and technologists to run the environment friendly project, he added. Alexy Likhachev extended thank to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her unconditional support to complete the mammoth task ahead of the schedule where 30,000 people were engaged in last seven years round the clock. “As a trusted friend we are committed to support Bangladesh to continue RNPP’s operation through supplying technology and fuel,” he added. According to the project details, two units of the project with a total capacity of 2,400MW are being constructed by Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission with Russian soft loan and technology support of Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (ROSATOM). Atomstroyexport, Russian Federation’s nuclear power equipment and service exporter, also a partner organisation of Rosatom is the general contractor of the project. The authorities, however, are planning to commence the production from early of 2025. Project Director of the Construction of Rooppur NPP Project, Dr Md Shawkat Akbar told media that around 90 percent construction work of the 1st unit and 70 percent of the 2nd unit has already been completed. As per the General Contract, Rosatom will provide the fuel for the first three years’ operation. Dr Md Shawkat Akbar told media that as per the contract with Russia, the vendor country will take back the waste fuel. He said that compare to Bangladesh’s energy mix with the growing economy like India and China. Highlighting the project necessity, he said this nuke power plant will help Bangladesh to tackle carbon emission it targeted to achieve by 2030 and 2041. Being the worst victim of climate change and costly Bangladesh would be able to generate green and cheaper electricity, said an expert of Nuclear Engineering, University of Dhaka. of 1,200 megawatts capacity each. The Atomic Energy Commission, under the ministry, is implementing the Rooppur nuclear power plant project. The Russian contractor Atomstroyexport is constructing two 1200 MW units under this project. The nuclear fuel is being produced by Rosatom’s associate company TVEL Fuel. Various countries around the world purchase nuclear fuel from them. According to the science and technology ministry, initiative was first taken for the Rooppur nuclear power plant back in 1961. Since then on, at various times, preparatory work had been taken up on the project. In 2013, during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Russia, a loan agreement for the Rooppur nuclear power project was signed.
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