Despite worldwide coronavirus worries, about 50 percent of construction work of the nuclear power plant is expected to be completed by this year, a high official said.
The 2,400 MW power plant, the first of its kind in the country, is being implemented by a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom. It is a top priority project on the Bangladesh government’s agenda. The progress of the works of the plant is closely monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Project Director Dr Mohammad Shawkat Akbar on Thursday said, “Reactor Pressure Vessel, a major part of the power plant has already been installed on October 10 last. Now steam generator will be installed there. We hope the generator with other equipment will be set up within December and all equipment tests will be started individually by next year.”
Dr Shawkat said they are not pausing the project even as the pandemic worsens and are expecting to complete the work as per schedule.
“We expect that 50 percent construction work of the project will be completed by this year. And finally, the fuel load for the first unit of the power plant will be started at the end of 2023. We believe that the first unit will start electricity generation by 2023, and the second unit by 2024,” he added. The main construction work of the power plant is continuing at Rooppur in Pabna district, while at the same time, essential machinery is being made in Russia. Some of the machinery has already reached Bangladesh, some shipped and others are still in the manufacturing process.
The project official said that about 30,000 workers and employees, including foreigners, are working to complete the power plant within the stipulated time. Authorities concerned are strictly following hygiene rules for all of them.
The design of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant has been developed in such a way that it will not succumb to any accident natural or man-made. One of the main concerns of any nuclear power plant is its waste management. The Russian Federation will take back all spent nuclear fuel of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, and we have signed a deal in this regard with them, an official said.
Officials said the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will bring about a comprehensive change in the country's economy, contributing more than two percent to GDP growth.
Once the nuke plant goes into operation, it will offer a window of opportunity, such as ensuring uninterrupted electricity supply to over 15 lakh families, and jobs for a large number of people.
That is apart from the fact that the plant will make special contributions to industrial development and scientific research. Above all, it will signal a release from the monopoly fuel of oil, gas, and coal for power generation.
On October 2, 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the first stone in the foundation of Rooppur NPP. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the construction of the Rooppur NPP Project on 6 December 2016 at an estimated cost of Taka 1,13,092.91 crore.