The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) on 4 November received the design and construction licence for unit 1 of the Rooppur nuclear power plant from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) “with some conditions”.
Project director Dr Shawkat Akbar said that the licence gives project authorities legal authority to begin construction. The design and construction licences were prepared by BAERA with the help of experts from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Russia and India after evaluating all the regulatory documents. Construction is expected to start on 30 November, Shawkat said. BAERA issued an initial site licence for the Rooppur plant in June 2016, allowing preliminary works, including geological surveys, to begin.
The Rooppur plant is to have two VVER-1200 units, which will be built by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. Rooppur 1 is expected to be completed by 2022 for commercial operation in 2023 or 2024, with Rooppur 2 following in 2024 or 2025.
A foundation stone was laid at the site in October 2013 after Russia and Bangladesh signed an initial contract on the construction of the plant. The two countries signed a general contract worth $12.65bn for the project on 25 December 2015. Russia in 2016 agreed to provide an $11.38bn credit facility for 90% of the project, with Bangladesh to meet the remainder of the project costs from state-funded grants.