Bangladesh joins nuclear club

Bangladesh joins nuclear club

Bangladesh on Thursday joined the world’s nuclear club as 32nd nation through pouring of the first structural concrete for construction of its first nuclear reactor at Rooppur in Pabna for electricity generation.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina poured the first concrete to the location where the first unit of the proposed two-unit nuclear power plant with 2,400MW combined power generation capacity.

The country appeared as the 3rd member in the South Asia and the 6th in Asia of the elite club, officials said, adding that a nation was considered as being a nuclear nation only after FCP.

Hasina, after pouring the concrete, appeared at a ceremonial programme and announced, ‘Today Bangladesh joins nuclear club.’

Science and technology minister Yeafesh Osman, PM’s economic affairs adviser Moshiur Rahman, energy adviser Towfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury, security adviser Major General (retd) Tariq Ahmed Siddiq, chief of army staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, PM’s principal secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, press secretary Ihsanul Karim, Russian ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Ignatov, Russia’s state-run atomic energy body Rosatom’s director general Alexey Likhachev, chief engineer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Md Abdur Razzak and project director of the plant and senior officials of Bangladesh and Russia were present on the occasion.

On November 4, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, the project implementation authorities, obtained a conditional licence from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority for the FCP only.

The commission will require obtaining further approval from the regulators for beginning the main construction of the reactor, the Authority chairman, Naiyyum Choudhury, has said.

Informing that the commission was yet to submit all the reports on the tests for stabilising alluvial soil of the site where the nuclear reactor would be installed, he said, ‘They have submitted some reports which are quite satisfactory.’

Naiyyum hoped that the regulators would be able to issue the approval in March 2018.

Stabilisation of alluvial soil of Rooppur and overcoming its liquefaction problem were the two major challenges for the project implementation authorities, officials say.

Naiyyum said that the licence enabled the commission to take all necessary preparations, including issuance of work orders for the main construction for the Rooppur nuclear power plant.

Before issuance of the final approval, the regulators would examine the durability or sustainability of the site, liquefaction problem of the soil, engineering solution of the embankment of the River Padma to protect the integrity of the nuclear infrastructure, emergency response plan and physical protection preparedness of the power plant.

The commission was also scheduled for the second FCP for second nuclear unit in 2018, they informed.

The commission is implementing the country’s maiden nuclear power project worth $13.21 billion with 90 per cent supplier’s credit of Russian Federation. The two-unit Russian built VVER-1200 reactors will be installed at Rooppur on the bank of the Padma.

Bangladesh was implementing its first nuclear power project following the Milestone Approach and the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the global body to facilitate the nuclear infrastructures in different countries, said the project director, Md Shawkat Akbar.

The first unit with 1,200MW capacity of the two-unit nuclear power plant is scheduled for 2022 for commissioning while the second unit with the same capacity is scheduled for 2023.

On October 2, 2013, prime minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant at Ishwardi.

Source: New Age.

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