Work will start on November, 30, on constructing the first nuclear power plant in Bangladesh at Rooppur with Russian collaboration, according to an announcement from Russia’s Rosatom Atomic Energy Corporation. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the first concrete pouring for the reactor building on the banks of Padma River in the Pabna district. Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev will be present on the occasion.
“Rooppur NPP with two VVER 1200 reactors and total capacity of 2,400 MW is constructed on the basis of Russian design 160 km away from Dhaka,” Rosatom said. Bangladesh signed the general contract for construction with Russia in December 2015.
“The commissioning of Unit 1 of Rooppur NPP is scheduled for 2023, while Unit 2 is scheduled for 2024,” it said.”The scope of our obligations includes technical responsibility for the entire project, NPP designing, delivery of equipment and material, training personnel, putting the plant into operation, providing guarantee of operation for the power units and delivery of spare parts, among others,” Rosatom’s engineering arm ASE Group Senior Vice President Alexander Khazin told reporters here. The inter-governmental agreement for Rooppur was signed in 2011. The project is being implemented by the state-run Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC).
The construction contract envisages building the latest “Generation 3-plus” nuclear reactor — the VVER-1200 — powered by advanced fuel, which Russia has also offered to supply for the second nuclear power project to follow Kudankulam, which envisages the construction of six reactors of the earlier generation VVER type of 1,000 MW capacity each. The VVER-1200 has 20 per cent more capacity than the VVER-1000. The first two units at KNPP are already connected to the Southern grid, while work has started on units 3 and 4. The world’s first VVER-1200 was unveiled last year with unit 6 of the Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant in Russia being connected to the country’s electricity grid.
According to experts, the VVER-1200 units have better power economy, and involve lesser staff for operations as compared to the previous generation ones, while the nuclear fuel plays a key element in the upgrade. The VVER-1200 nuclear fuel contains more uranium than the fuel for less powerful units and can produce more electric energy over a longer period of time. According to Rosatom officials, the fuel weight and the length of the VVER-1200 fuel assembly is higher than that being used in the VVER-1000 model.
An inter-agency agreement was signed earlier this year between the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), BAEC and India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) for cooperation on nuclear projects in Bangladesh. As per this agreement, the DAE through GCNEP would provide training services to BAEC personnel involved in the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project.