DHAKA, Oct 5, 2023 (BSS):
The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) today received the nuclear fuel to produce electricity at a function at its site as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Russian President Vladimir Putin virtually joined it.
With the handing over of the radioactive fuel to Bangladesh authorities, the country became the 33rd nuclear fuel user in the world, while third in South Asia.
The certificate of fuel delivery was handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin at Prime Minister’s official residence Ganobhaban as the premier joined the event virtually.
The model of the fuel assembly was handed over to Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman by ROSATOM Director General Alexy Likhachev at the ceremony in RNPP site, Ishwardi, Pabna.
ROSATOM is building the 2400-megawatt power plant. Its first unit of 1,200MW capacity is set to be operational next year, while the other unit in 2025.
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi also joined the event virtually.
At the outset of the function, an audio-video documentary on the manufacturing and delivery of the first batch of nuclear fuel for RNPP was screened, while RNPP Project Director and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Limited (NPCBL) Dr Md Shawkat Akbar made introduction to the RNPP.
Science and Technology Secretary Md Ali Hossain delivered the welcome address.
The first consignment of nuclear fuel (Uranium rods) for RNPP reached here by a special flight on September 28.
According to the project details, the government expects to commission the first unit of RNPP in September 2024 and the second in mid-2025.
There are 30,000 people, including 7,000 professionals, working on the project. The project is expected to operate for 60-80 years.
Officials said RNPP will be able to take Bangladesh into unique heights by entering the nuclear club as it will also be able to play a leading role in meeting carbon emission reduction targets. At the same time, it will reduce the cost of power generation in a flash.
The project layout said the RNPP will generate 2,400 MW of electricity everyday.
The nuclear fuel is being produced by ROSATOM’s associate company TVEL Fuel. Various countries around the world purchase nuclear fuel from them.
According to the World Nuclear Association website, the countries using nuclear energy include the US, China, France, Russia, South Korea, Canada, Ukraine, Germany, Japan, Spain Sweden, Belgium, UK, India, Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Hungary, Slovakia, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Romania, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Iran and Armenia.
Once the nuclear fuel is loaded into the power plant’s reactors, power can be produced for one year. After that, the fuel will have to be reloaded into the reactor.
In October 2021, Rooppur unit-I was almost completed, with the placement of the reactor within the unit’s structure. It was set up in accordance with the IAEA standards.
The reactor is the main component of a nuclear power plant. The second unit’s reactor was set up in October last year.
Bangladesh got the licence for nuclear fuel import and storage at the Rooppur project after fulfilling all necessary requirements under the IAEA’s guidelines.
The IAEA during its general conference in Vienna last month made Bangladesh it’s a board member.