Bangladesh is making significant progress in the construction of its first nuclear power plant, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano said following a visit to the plant at Rooppur some 200km north-west of Dhaka. He stressed the IAEA’s commitment to assist Bangladesh in achieving sustainable development using nuclear science and technology, and in particular, the safe and secure use of nuclear energy.
During the visit, senior officials briefed Amano on the implementation status of the preparatory activities on the site and the review process for issuing a construction licence for the plant. They also outlined the activities of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) in ensuring safety and security.
The two-unit 2400MWe Rooppur NPP is being built by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, with the first unit is expected to start generating electricity in 2023. Bangladesh has received significant IAEA assistance for the review of nuclear laws, preparation for adhering to international legal instruments, the development and review of regulations and the assessment of sites.
The government requested an IAEA Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in 2011 and an INIR follow-up mission in 2016. The first review mission provided recommendations and suggestions on necessary improvements in infrastructure and the second mission assessed the progress achieved, and provided guidance on completion of the remaining gaps as well as the best practices in NPP infrastructure development.
The NPP’s two reactors will be based on a modified version of the NPP-2006 VVER (pressurised water reactor), designed specifically for the Rooppur site. Bangladesh and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement in 2011, and Russia agreed to provide $500m to finance preparatory work including engineering surveys. It will also extend loans to finance construction. The foundation stone was laid in October 2013 after Russia and Bangladesh signed the initial contract on the project. The general contract for the project was signed in December 2015.
Photo: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant on 3 July 2017. (Photo: S. Kamishima/IAEA)