Tripartite agreement on Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant a good start for India: Experts

Bangladesh’s maiden nuclear power plant at Rooppur is being constructed at the desired pace with all the works for underground infrastructure being completed. Construction will begin now for over the surface infrastructure and the plant is expected to meet its planned deadline for operations in 2023.

Work will now start on the part of the power plant that is up to 75 meters above the ground level.

Most of the state-of-the art machinery, critical for the power plant is being built in Russia and then shipped to Bangladesh. Few of these machinery has already been installed. The officials involved in the project said that in total 16 per cent of the work has already been completed.

Project Director of the RNPP project Shaukat Akbar said that the project implementation rate is “satisfactory” and would meet the deadline of 2023 when it is expected to be commissioned. He added that almost all the major underground construction is finished and the installation of the first reactor is nearly done. “Construction of more than 50 installations is underway for the safe and efficient management, operation and maintenance of the RNPP,” he said.

The underground construction include the reactor main building, auxiliary building, portal building, turbine building, normal operation power supply building, the foundation of the Unit Water Demineralization Plant and some other infrastructures being constructed for up to a depth of 20 meters beneath the ground.

The soil of the site is well treated to hold and safeguard the nuclear plant. The soil of the plant site is stabilized using Deep Soil Mixing Technology for up to a depth of 20 meters beneath the ground.

A 3-meter thick foundation of the first unit’s reactor along with foundations of other infrastructures are already being laid. On August 18, 2018 the core catcher for the first unit of the RNPP was installed. The installation of the reactor building of the second unit is also underway, and the core catcher for this unit has already arrived at the plant site that is planned to be installed in April 2019.

River training and shore protection have already been started for the RNPP. A jetty is already under construction and these are expected to be completed within this year.

Shaukat Akbar said that we have already placed work orders for all the LTME machinery that is now being manufactured at different facilities in Russia. Some of the machinery has been manufactured and is awaiting shipment to Bangladesh and some is already being shipped to Bangladesh. He added that the Bangladeshi authority has opened three different offices in three different cities in Russia to monitor the quality and standards of the machinery manufacturing process.

By the end of year 2019, almost 500 personnel of Nuclear Power Plant Company of Bangladesh will complete their training to operate the RNPP.

A total of four 20-story buildings are being constructed to accommodate the Bangladeshi and Russian personnel working in the RNPP project. Besides, the Public Works Department is planning to hand over 16 more multistory buildings for the RNPP personnel.

The first unit of the RNPP is expected to be commissioned in 2023 and the second one is to be operational from 2024. These two units of the RNPP will be capable of supplying a maximum of 2,400 MW of power to the national grid once they start operation.