India signed pact with Bangladesh to help with Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant


The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has signed an agreement with the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) to extend technical support for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and Minister of State Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr. Jitendra Singh, informed the Lok Sabha.

Singh said in a written reply that the DAE has signed the agreement with the BAEC through its Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) to extend technical, consultancy and capacity building support.

“Subsequent to signing of India-Bangladesh civil nuclear cooperation agreement on 08.04.2017, Department of Atomic Energy’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) signed an inter-agency agreement for GCNEP to extend technical/consultancy and capacity building support to BAEC for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP) in Bangladesh being set up with Russian collaboration,” he added.

Bangladesh on November, 30 became the 32nd country in the world and 3rd in South Asia to harness the power of atom. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, called the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant “realization of another dream” as the ‘first concrete’ was poured to the foundation slab of Unit 1 of the plant at Iswardi of Pabna district.

“With the pouring of first concrete of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant begins the realization of another dream. We enter the nuclear world, which is a matter of great pride and honor for us as a nation,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said after the ceremony. It is indeed the realization of a dream that was conceived in 1960s. “First concrete” marks the start of the main construction phase of the Rooppur NPP.

The units at the nuclear plant at Rooppur will be built with post-Fukushima safety design and seek to dispel the concern that the Tsunami accident in Japan has evoked in the world community. ““The plant is being built with the help of Russia using so far the most modern technology. To ensure the safety we are following the guideline of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” the Prime Minister added.

RNPP will have two VVER-1200 nuclear reactors – the flagship product of Russian state-owned nuclear giant Rosatom. They have been the latest version of the reactors built in Iran, India and China. The VVER-1200 have improved features leading to better performance and a range of additional safety systems that prevent radioactive substances from getting out of hermetically sealed containment in cases of emergency. Also, it has a 20 per cent higher power capacity than VVER-1000.

In her address Bangladesh Prime Minister said that the plant will be important for economic growth of the country. “Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will play a significant role in economic development and implementation of Vision 2041,” Hasina said.

The ceremony was attended by Director General of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation Alexey Likhachev, Minister for Science and Technology of Bangladesh Yeafesh Osman and President of ASE Group of Companies Valery Limarenko.

Russian design of VVER-1200 reactors is an evolutionary Generation 3+ design with an extended 60-year service life, high capacity utilisation and an 18-month refuelling cycle. “Today we are not only beginning construction of the facility with life-cycle not less than 100 years, but at the same time further cementing foundation of friendship and cooperation for us and our children and grandchildren,” Rosatom’s Director General Likhachev said in his welcome speech.