First nuclear reactor pressure vessel installed at Bangladesh atomic power plant
Russia’s state-run nuclear power corporation has completed the installation of the reactor pressure vessel at Bangladesh’s first atomic power plant, marking a significant step forward in the country’s efforts to develop its nuclear power industry.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Rosatom director general Alexey Likhachev launched the final stage of the installation of the reactor pressure vessel at the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Ishwardi district on October 10. Hasina joined the ceremony from Dhaka via video conference.
India’s Hindustan Construction Company has bagged a $110 million contract for civil works at the Rooppur plant in a joint venture with Bangladesh’s MAX Group. The Indian company holds a 40% share in the joint venture.
Indian firms are able to participate in construction work and supply of non-critical equipment for the project under a trilateral agreement signed by India, Russia, and Bangladesh in 2018.
Hasina thanked Russia for its support for the Rooppur project. The installation of the reactor pressure vessel of the first unit of the nuclear plant confirms Bangladesh’s “strong presence in the nuclear world so far as peaceful use of nuclear technology is concerned”, she said.
“After being convinced about safety and management of nuclear waste at the meeting with President [Vladimir] Putin in 2013, I decided to go for nuclear,” she said.
“As this technology doesn’t have carbon emissions, hence it is eco-friendly and will help fight adverse effects of climate change. This power station will help us achieve SDG goals by 2030 in line with our development plan and facilitate graduation to a developed nation in 2041,” she added.
Work for installing the reactor pressure vessel started on September 14. Over the course of two weeks, the reactor was moved inside the containment building. The 334-tonne structure was installed into its design position, and Likhachev said the development had brought Bangladesh closer to its goal of developing its nuclear power industry.
“The high qualification of specialists and the thorough preparation ensured the performance of the works with pinpoint precision...The development of nuclear power industry will not only resolve the problem of energy supply in Bangladesh but will also contribute to the development of the region and enhance the living standards of the people,” Likhachev said.
Following the ceremony, Likhachev and the prime minister discussed issues of strategic cooperation between Rosatom and Bangladesh.
The Rooppur nuclear power plant is located on the bank of the Ganges river at a distance of 160 km from the capital Dhaka. The facility is designed and constructed by Rosatom. The plant will have two VVER-1200 reactors with an expected life cycle of 60 years, which can be extended for another 20 years.