Dhaka,  Saturday
20 April 2024

2nd nuclear power plant plan triggers concerns

Jannatul Ferdushy 

Published: 07:38, 3 April 2024

Update: 11:29, 3 April 2024

2nd nuclear power plant plan triggers concerns

Photo : Messenger

The first unit of the much-awaited Rooppur nuclear power plant may start producing electricity by the end of this year. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has expressed interest in building another nuclear power plant consisting of two units at Rooppur.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told Rosatom that her government seeks to build another nuclear power plant at Rooppur upon completion of the ongoing project.

Alexey Likhachev, Director-General of the Rosatom State Corporation of Russia, called on Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban on Tuesday.

Experts think that the affordable price of the power plant from nuclear energy is a concern. On the other hand, for the next plant, the country needs to study the issue.

Professor Shamsul Alam, a prominent energy expert, told The Daily Messenger, “The government should make a prudent plan for building the next nuclear power plants.”

He added, “Sometimes the government emphasises renewables, sometimes nuclear, which seems whimsical. Additionally, pricing and negotiation with partners are concerns. The current plant’s power will not be cheap as we are dependent on foreigners.”

“Besides, the plant will be a financial burden for the government as we have a huge establishment in the country. Also, we are dependent on others for the safety issues of the project,” he said, adding, “And, we don’t have clear outlines about the import of power.”

Former BAPEX director and energy expert Makbul E Elahi told The Daily Messenger, “It may be a good initiative as the plant will be built on the same campus. So, the price might be fair. Besides, the plant will take more than 7 years, and then the demand for power will be high at that time.”

Replying to a query, he said, “Of course, price will be an issue that will depend on skilled negotiation. Maybe the price of the present nuclear power plant is high.”

State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, “Yes, we have the plan, but all is at an initial level. We will discuss with the experts and then take the final decision.”

Regarding price, he said, “Price will depend on when we will sign the contract. This is not the right time to talk about the issue.”

The DG of Rosatom gave assurance on behalf of the Russian government regarding the taking back of the Spent Nuclear Fuel produced by the first and second units to the Russian Federation and promised to complete all the necessary formalities on time as per the instructions of the prime minister.

Alexey Likhachev said, “The implementation of the Rooppur NPP construction project is approaching one of the most important milestones - the physical start-up of Unit 1, which is to take place before the end of the year. Currently, we are starting the discussion of new projects. The Bangladeshi Party expresses strong interest in the construction of two more power units at the Rooppur NPP site.”

He also added, “Besides, the possibility of the construction of a multi-purpose high-power research reactor in Bangladesh is being reviewed. The research reactor will be able to resolve tasks in the fields of science and nuclear medicine.”

Alexey Likhachev also visited the Rooppur NPP construction site Green City residential area yesterday.

The Rooppur nuclear power project at Ishwardi Upazilla is being implemented with technical and financial cooperation from Russia. The project will host two power units, each with a capacity of 1,200 MW. Generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactors are being installed in the power units. The general designer and contractor of the Rooppur NPP is the engineering division of Rosatom.