Russia and Bangladesh have increased their cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.
During the visit to Bangladesh of Alexei Likhachev, director general of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, a package of documents was signed providing for the expansion of nuclear cooperation.
In particular, a protocol was signed amending the 2015 intergovernmental agreement between the Russia and Bangladesh on the construction of a nuclear plant in Bangladesh relating to the operation, maintenance and repair of the Rooppur nuclear plant.
The protocol establishes the right of Bangladesh to attract a Russian organisation on a long-term basis to support the operation, maintenance and repair of Roopur 1&2, as well as the supply of equipment, supplies and spare parts, and the provision of training services for maintenance and repair personnel during the operation of plants.
In addition, a full package of annexes to the contract for the supply of nuclear fuel for Rooppur was signed between Russian fuel company Tvel and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission. The contract is valid until the end of the life of both nuclear power units.
Rooppur will be the first Russian nuclear power plant abroad built under the project of Generation III + (NPP-2006) and switched to an eighteen-month fuel cycle.
The Rooppur nuclear plant, with two VVER-1200 reactors, is being constructed by Rosatom, in accordance with the $12.65 billion general contract signed in December 2015.
Russia’s Novovoronezh II NPP is the reference plant for the project.
Preparatory work was carried out at Rooppur in 2015-2016, while working documentation was developed, along with materials for construction licences.
In November 2017, after the Bangladeshi regulatory authority (BAERA) issued a licence for the design and construction of the station, “first concrete” was poured for Rooppur 1 followed by first concrete for Rooppur 2 in July 2018. Installation of the core melt trap or core catcher at Rooppur 1 began in August 2018.
Rooppur 1 is scheduled to begin operation in 2023, and unit 2 in 2024.
Russia and Bangladesh expand nuclear energy cooperation (Credit: Rosatom)