Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom has repatriated 178 employees from the Rooppur nuclear power plant construction site in Bangladesh.
Rosatom had to obtain government permission to evacuate its employees. Russia temporarily suspended all international flights on 3 April in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The first 178 employees arrived on a flight from Dhaka, which landed at the Nizhny Novgorod international airport in Russia on Monday.
Almost all of the workers were from Rosatom's Engineering Division or were subcontractors working at the Rooppur site, where Rosatom is building two VVER-1200 reactors.
Rosatom said passengers on the flight would be tested for Covid-19, and will need to spend two weeks in isolation, under medical supervision.
More than 4000 people are involved in the construction of Rooppur NPP, so the temporary relocation of 178 employees will not affect the project schedule, Rosatom said.
Rosatom said it is taking steps to combat the spread of Covid-19 by monitoring employee temperatures at various locations on-site, issuing masks to workers and increasing disinfection of all office space.
Rooppur 1 is currently scheduled to start operating 2023, followed by Rooppur 2 a year later.
Photo: Rooppur construction site in Banglades (credit: Atomstoryexport)