Bangladesh to formalise Rooppur Nuclear Plant’s safety through MoU with India, Russia

Bangladesh has sought some changes in the proposed Memorandum of Understanding with India and Russia on nuclear safety cooperation on the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. The proposed changes would be sent to Moscow and Delhi soon.

In a report that appeared in the Bangladesh English Daily ‘New Age’ titled – “Dhaka wants clarity of India-Russia nuclear safety deal”, Chairman of Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority Naiyyum Choudhury has been quoted as saying that ‘the draft of the memorandum proposed by Russia and India was discussed at an inter-ministerial meeting on August 7’. “The meeting was chaired by Science and Technology Ministry Secretary Md Anwar Hossain, proposed some changes to the draft which would be sent to Moscow and New Delhi soon,” Choudhury added.

Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service known as Rostechnadzor of Russia, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority of Bangladesh would sign the memorandum.

According to the ministry officials, Bangladesh is expected to seek a number of changes to the draft, including proper title of the nuclear safety deal between Russia and India and replacement of words ‘security regulation’ by ‘physical protection’ in the defining of areas of implementation.

“Bangladesh would seek inclusion of a provision in the draft stating that the implementation of the memorandum would not affect commitments made in other agreements signed between the parties,” the report quoted the Ministry officials.

According to the report, Bangladesh wanted to add ‘activities in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy’ in Clause 2 of the Memorandum and would want to replace ‘no rights’ by ‘any rights’ and addition of ‘any national law’ in the clause dealing with the international implication of the memorandum.

Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission’s Chairman Mahbubul Hoq has been quoted in the report saying that the proposed memorandum was “imperative” for the operation of the Rooppur plant.

The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant has been the result of the trilateral cooperation between Bangladesh, India and Russia. The power plant is expected to cost USD 12.65 billion with USD 11.385 billion being financed by Russia through loans. Russia’s state-owned JSC Atomstroyexport would build and commission the power plant. India would help in training the personnel, who will operate the plant.