Rooppur nuke plant deal signing on Nov 2

Rooppur nuke plant deal signing on Nov 2
Ex-Russian PM will clinch the deal in Dhaka
Shamim Jahangir

Bangladesh will sign an agreement next week with Russia to install two reactors for nuclear power plants at Rooppur in Pabna district having a combined power generation capacity of 2000MW, a junior minister said.

“We have a schedule to sign the agreement to install the power plants on November 2,” State Minister for Science, Information and Communications Technology Yafes Osman told daily sun on Wednesday.

A high-powered delegation, led by former Russian prime minister Sergei Kiriyenko who is now head of Russia’s state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom, will arrive in Dhaka to sign the deal, the minister said.

Sergei Kiriyenko was the prime minister of Russia from 23 March to 23 August in 1998.

The installation cost of the reactors will vary depending on the locations, Osman said. “But the government has primarily estimated it between US$1.5 billion and US $ 2 billion for implementing the project,” he added.

The ICT minister also said the Russian company has assured Bangladesh of implementing the project even at a lower cost, he said.

The installation of the first reactor may begin early 2012 subject to signing of the agreement next month, a ministry official added.

The government hopes to complete the nuclear power projects by late 2017 or early 2018 next, the minister said.

The government has decided to bring the equipment for installation of the 2,000 megawatt nuclear power plants at Rooppur through the river way, the state minister said.

He said it will be more convenient to bring the equipment to the project site Rooppur, located on the bank of the River Padma, from Mongla port through the Pasur, Madhumati and Padma rivers.

The technical committee on the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plants has decided to send the spent fuel (nuclear waste) of the plants to the suppliers.

The committee also decided that an interim spent fuel storage facility should be built at the plant site before sending those to the supplier.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her satisfaction over the progress in implementing the power plants, originally initiated in 1960s.

The Prime minister has directed the ministry concerned to dredge the rivers on the route for carrying the nuclear power plant equipment smoothly.

The signing of the deal has missed the deadline on April last.

Earlier, Bangladesh took necessary steps for setting up of a 600-1500 MW nuclear power plant and signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with China, Russia, US, France and India for cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy technology.

Most of the sectors here have been facing serious power crisis which is crippling the country’s expected growth. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) is supplying around 4800MW of electricity during peak hours against the demand for 6500MW daily.


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