Bangladesh has received its first batch of nuclear fuel for the first nuclear power plant (NPP) being constructed in the country, according to the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.
Rosatom, the equipment supplier and technical consultant for the project, is building two VVER-1200 units of 1,200 MW capacity each at Rooppur, located on the eastern bank of the river Padma, about 160 km from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka.
A Rosatom announcement earlier this week said that the official ceremony to mark the delivery of the first batch of nuclear fuel was held at the Rooppur NPP construction site on October 5, 2023.
The ceremony was attended via videoconference by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General (DG) Rafael Grossi.
Among those present at the site were the Rosatom DG, Alexey Likhachev, and Bangladesh Science and Technology Minister, Architect Yeafesh Osman.
“The ceremony marked the receipt of the status of a nuclear facility by the first NPP in Bangladesh. The leaders of the two countries gave symbolic permission for the delivery of nuclear fuel to the NPP construction site,” the statement said.
The fuel for the Rooppur NPP has been manufactured in Russia at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP) operated by Rosatom’s fuel arm TVEL.
“The fuel manufacture and transportation were performed under the active guidance and supervision of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA),” the statement added.
“With the delivery of nuclear fuel, Rooppur NPP becomes a nuclear facility, and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh gets the status of a country that possesses peaceful nuclear technologies. For Rosatom, it is a great honor to implement a project which will ensure stable power supply and will help to preserve the unique nature of Bangladesh for future generations”, the Rosatom Director General Likhachev said at the ceremony.
“We’ve been waiting for this special moment for a long time. It is a celebration not only for the people of Pabna district but also for the entire nation,” Bangladesh Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman said.
Unit 1 of the Rooppur NPP is expected to become operational early next year. Both the latest generation III+ VVER-1200 power units at Rooppur will be equipped with active as well as passive safety systems, including molten core catchers.