Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman said that construction work of Rooppur nuclear power plant would be completed within the timeline. He also assured the foreign delegates of the government’s firm stance on security issues of the project.
The Minister was addressing the concluding session of a five-day international conference on Friday in the capital.
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) organised the international meeting in association with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Policy thinkers from Canada, Austria, Indonesia, Philippine, Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh attended the international conference titled ‘Measurement and Assessment of Inter-Gated Management System within Regulatory Bodies’ at Brac Centre in Dhaka.
Minister Yeafesh said the project work is going on in cooperation with Russian agency which will extend experts resource to complete the project within scheduled timeline.
Considering the security issues, the minister said the big challenge for the project is ‘ensuring security’ and the government maintains regular training programmes for project officials.
“The government has focused on improvements of power plant design, commissioning, security and overall management which will enrich the power sector of the country,” Yeafesh added.
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Mahbubul Hoq said the regular training programme for project officials enhances the pace of works at field level.
Among others, IAEA specialist Gabriel Sore was present in the meeting presided by BAERA chairperson Shahana Afroz.
Official said the country’s first 2400 megawatt-capacity Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is becoming more visible with each passing day. The power plant is being built in Rooppur of Pabna, about 160 kilometres northwest of the capital. It is expected that the first unit will be commissioned in 2023, and the second in 2024.
The construction project is being implemented by a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom. It is high on the Bangladesh government’s agenda, all the way up to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Under the General Contract signed on December 25, 2015 ASE (Atomstroyexport), Engineering Division of Rosatom State Corporation of Russia is implementing the project. Rooppur NPP will have two VVER 1200 reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 MW. The evolutionary Gen III+ VVER reactor fully complies with all international safety requirements.
In 2015-2016, preparatory work was carried out at the construction site, working documentation was developed and documents for licensing for construction were prepared.
On November 4, 2017, the regulatory authority of Bangladesh (BAERA) issued required license for the design and construction of the plant.
“The design of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant has been developed in such a way that it will not succumb to any accident – natural or man-made. One of the main concerns of any nuclear power plant is its waste management. The Russian Federation will take back spent nuclear fuel of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and we have signed a deal in this regard with them,”an official said.
On 2 October 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the first stone in the foundation of Rooppur NPP. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved “Construction of Rooppur NPP” Project on 6 December 2016 at an estimated cost of Taka 1,13,092.91 crore.