BACKGROUND AND CURRENT STATUS OF ROOPPUR NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
The proposal for building a Nuclear Power Plant in the western zone of the country was first conceived in 1961. Since then a number of feasibility studies were conducted, each of which established that the project was technically and economically feasible. The then Pakistan Government gave formal approval for 70 MW, 140 MW and 200 MW plant in 1963, 1966 and 1969, respectively.
In 1978-79, the government considering the role of nuclear power in meeting energy demands of the country, the government conducted a feasibility study on the project. The study clearly identified nuclear option as appropriate and viable for Bangladesh. Following liberation the ECNEC had approved the PP for a 125 MW nuclear power plant in 1980. The follow-up study, conducted in 1986-87 also reconfirmed the findings on technical, economical and financial viability of the project, and two units of 300 MW were recommended for implementation. Pre-implementation phase activities for construction of two units of 600 MWe reactors on the Rooppur site with a time lag of two years were carried out systematically by BAEC with the support from IAEA and other national organizations during the period 1999 – 2003.
Site Safety Report of Rooppur Nuclear Power Project
The Site Safety Report of RNPP finalized in 2002 incorporating all safety related parameters was reviewed by IAEA. During 1999-2002, some additional investigations for the Site mainly in the areas of Hydrology & Morphological Analysis, Subsoil Investigation, Seismic Studies and Radiological Dispersion Studies have been carried out as per IAEA recommendations. The Site Safety Report is being updated in collaboration with the IAEA.
Government Previous Commitments
The Implementation Committee (now known as the Cabinet Committee on Rooppur Nuclear Power Project), was formed headed by Honourable Head of the Government in 1992 to accelerate the implementation process of the project. A Technical Sub-Committee was formed in 1995 headed by the Principal Secretary. During 1992–2000, several meetings of the Implementation Committee were held chaired by the Head of the Government and decisions were taken to expedite implementation of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP). It was decided that in the first stage, a 600 MW nuclear power plant is to be constructed on the designated site, which is to be followed by a repeat unit on the same site.
Construction work to begin in SEPTEMBER 2013
The government has declared that the construction work of much-talked-about Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant would begin from September next.
A 16-member delegation of secretary level made a spot visit to the project area for feasibility study, progress and final action plan.
Secretary of Ministry for Science and Technology affairs Dr Rafiqul Islam, also member secretary of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project led the delegation.
The initial work of the project will start from March and later in September, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will inaugurate the project.
During her visit to Russia, Sheikh Hasina signed three agreements and six Memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with Russia in different areas including on construction of nuclear power plants in Bangladesh.
Russia assured Bangladesh of financial and technical assistance in this regard.