Bangladesh awards contract to upgrade its gamma irradiation facility to Rosatom

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Bangladesh has awarded a contract to the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom to supply gamma irradiation equipment for treating food and medical products, as well as for research purposes. 

According to a Rosatom release earlier this week, the contract entails replacing the equipment of the existing gamma irradiation facility in Bangladesh.  

The contract has been won by the Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics and Automation, which is an arm of Rosatom subsidiary Rusatom Healthcare, following an international open tender. 

The statement said that the international tender, organised jointly by the Institute of Radiation and Polymer Technology (IRPT) and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, also attracted bids by companies from China and Germany. The Rusatom Healthcare bid, supported by the Regional Center Rosatom South Asia, satisfied all the customer’s technical and commercial requirements, the statement added. 

“Rosatom will perform all work, including design, manufacture, supply, installation supervision, testing, and commissioning of gamma installation equipment. In particular, Co-60 (cobalt-60) radioactive isotopes will be supplied by Isotope JSC. The result of the work will be an upgraded gamma installation with a nominal activity of 400 kCi (kilocurie)”, Rosatom said.  

Using irradiation technology, Bangladesh has, last year, developed new varieties of cotton that are more productive and have better fibre quality through a project undertaken in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Plant breeding is the process of exposing plant seeds, cuttings or other planting material to radiation, such as X-rays or gamma rays.   

“Until now, Rosatom was known in Bangladesh only for its large-capacity nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the implementation of the Rooppur NPP joint project, but we actually possess expertise in a wide range of high-tech industries. We believe that the supply of gamma irradiation equipment will not only be Rosatom’s first non-energy project in Bangladesh, but also a good example of our strengthening cooperation with the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission”, Rosatom South Asia CEO Andrey Shevlyakov said in a statement.  

Rosatom is the equipment supplier and technical consultant for the project to build two VVER-1200 nuclear reactor units of 1,200 MW capacity each, which are currently being constructed at Rooppur located about 160 km from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka.