India’s first atomic energy venture abroad will take off in Bangladesh on Nov 30
India’s first atomic energy venture abroad will take off on November 30 with the ‘first pouring of concrete’ for the Rooppur Nuclear Plant in Bangladesh.
The highpoint of Bangladesh’s first nuclear energy project is India’s collaboration with Russia to help build the plant.
Once the project is completed, Bangladesh will become the third Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness energy from atomic fission.
Dhaka informed New Delhi about its plan to hold the ceremony on the last day of this month in Rooppur on the eastern banks of the Ganga in Pabna district, 169 km from Bangladesh’s capital.
New Delhi will have role in “training of personnel and consultancy” in the initial phase and all equipment will be provided by the Russians, officials privy to the developments said.
This is in line with a civil nuclear cooperation deal India signed along with two other agreements with Bangladesh.
Roppur power park will have two Water-Water Energetic Reactor (pressurised water reactor units) of 1200 MW each, built by Russian company Rosatom.
Russia will also provide major financial assistance as well as the fuel for the two reactors that are expected to go critical in 2022 and 2023.
But subsequently, the plan is for India and Russia to collaborate for joint ventures in equipment manufacturing in accordance with their ‘strategic vision for strengthening cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy’ agreed upon in December 2014.
The agreement provided opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for the construction of the Russian- designed nuclear power plants in third countries.
In the initial phase, India will train professionals for various aspects of the plant, provide technical cooperation, besides sharing information in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection in consonance with three nuclear energy related agreements that India and the Bangladesh signed in April 2015, explained an official.
Dhaka adopted a national Nuclear Power Action Plan and in 2005 it signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with China, an agreement did not go any further.
Experts are of the view that India should ensure a major aspect of bilateral ties, which is nuclear cooperation, survives change in governments.
“Nuclear energy is sustainable, clean and cost-effective. But India should ensure that an important cooperation such as this continues irrespective of the change in government in countries, with whom it want to have nuclear deal. That is very important for this partnership to grow and flourish,” said Prof Sachin Chaturvedi, director general of New Delhi-based think tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries.