Bangladesh set to be nuclear power club member



Bangladesh is set to launch the physical works to build the maiden nuclear power plant in next few months as Moscow said technical and environmental assessments would be carried out this year for the plant, which is to have two 1,000-megawatt reactors, reports BSS.

“The physical works (for the plant) is expected to start by this year …..the successful deal signed with Russia paved the way for the launch,” Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) Chairman ASM Firoz told the news agency.

He said Bangladesh achieved what we want from Moscow as under the landmark deal with Russia while the head of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, told media two days ago that technical and environmental assessments would be carried out this year.

The installation of the two Third Generation Reactors would earn Bangladesh the status of a member of the Nuclear Power Club.

Officials familiar with the process said the plant is now expected to be commissioned in 2021, a year after the trial run to enroll Bangladesh a new member of the now existing 31-member strong nuclear power club.

“The third generation reactors prioritise the safety concerns and these are much safer than the second generation ones,” Firoz said adding that Bangladeshi nuclear scientists were also capable enough to handle the nuclear power plant with their long experience in BAEC.

Officials and experts said 2000-MW nuclear power plant will be able to provide 10 per cent of the total electricity to the national grid by 2021 in line with the government’s energy perspective plan and Vision 2021.

They said under the deal the two countries would now carry out a ‘Feasibility Evaluation for Investment Project’, ‘Site and Engineering Survey, Environmental Studies’ and ‘Conceptualisation of Design’ within next one and a half years.

“Exhausting the process Bangladesh government will issue an ‘international standard licence’ to be reviewed by International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) for installing the reactors,” an official familiar with the project said.

He added: After getting the licence, a second contract will be signed between Bangladesh and Russia to figure out the total cost of the project.”

In the next one and a half years, detailed engineering design, Preliminary Safety Analysis Report (PSAR) and offsite infrastructure construction and Human resource development would also be completed.

BEAC officials said all these works would be completed by the end of 2015 and the first reactor would be installed in the subsequent two years and another one year would be needed to set up the second reactor.

“We envisage the maiden nuclear plant will go to commercial generation by 2020 to 2021,” Firoz said.

As per the agreement, the Russian authority would take the responsibility of nuclear waste management taking away all the waste to Russia by a specialized ship.

International Atomic Energy Association allowed Bangladesh to install nuclear power plants in 2007 along with seven other developing nations while Russia, France, South Korea, China and Pakistan expressed their interest to offer their assistance for developing the infrastructure.

Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, considered building a nuclear power plant for the first time in 1961 and in 1963 and Rooppur site was selected. Nearly four decades later the country adopted a national Nuclear Power Action Plan in 2001.


Published : Friday, 18 January 2013


About Ehsan Abdullah

An aware citizen..

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