The installation of the reactor pressure vessel for the second unit of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in Bangladesh has been completed, according to an announcement earlier this week by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.
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.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina virtually joined the event to inaugurate the second unit’s reactor pressure vessel (RPV). Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev was among the invitees present at the site.
“Rooppur NPP will help us provide a better life for our compatriots. Once again, I thank Russia for helping to build this power plant. We paid attention to the overall safety and reliability of the construction of a nuclear power plant. Safety was our main concern”, Sheikh Hasina said in her address.
According to the Rosatom statement, the reactor vessel was moved via the transportation lock inside the reactor building, following which the 334-ton structure was installed into the design position with a polar crane. The RPV is 11.18 metres in length with a diameter of 4.57 metres.
“A year ago, we witnessed the installation of the first reactor vessel in the design position, and to this day, the same operation has been completed at the second reactor. We see the first nuclear power plant construction proceeding rapidly in Bangladesh, despite the obstacles caused by the pandemic”, Likhachev said at the event.
Both the latest generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors at the Rooppur NPP will be equipped with active as well as passive safety systems, including molten core catchers. The first unit is scheduled to start operating in 2023, followed by unit 2 in 2024.
Following installation of the RPV, Likhachev also took part in the opening ceremony of a modern training centre at the Rooppur NPP designed to train operating personnel of various categories.
“The citizens of Bangladesh will undergo training in specialized classes and production shops with the most up-to-date equipment”, the statement said.
Rosatom has developed all the necessary teaching and learning programmes that will enable the Bangladeshi operator to provide the training for its personnel independently, it added.