The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, which is under construction in Bangladesh, will meet the latest safety standards as IAEA experts supervise the construction process and plant employees undergo training at leading international nuclear organizations.
In early February, IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov visited the first nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. During his three-day official stay, Mikhail Chudakov had meetings with local authorities and inspected the construction site. He was accompanied by Dr. Sanowar Hossain, Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), Shawkat Akbar, Director of the Rooppur Project, Eng. Muzammil Haque, Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA), Anwar Hossain, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Iti Rani Poddar, Joint Secretary of BAEC, and other Russian and Bangladesh officials.
According to Akbar, Chudakov expressed satisfaction with the quality of work and construction progress achieved. The deputy director general also said that the Generation III+ technology used in Bangladesh was the most advanced and complied with the strictest safety requirements. While inspecting the construction site, he asked questions about the compliance with the time schedule, talent management, expert engagement, staff training, and so on.
Talent management has been a point of attention at the Rooppur NPP since the launch of the project. In January 2020, experts of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) organized a training session for the plant employees. It was held at Rosatom’s Technical Academy in Russia.
Key topics of the session were “Leadership in Nuclear” and “Nuclear Staff Quality”. The lectures are part of WANO’s New Unit Assistance training program consisting of 18 modules. Completion certificates were given to 28 program participants from Bangladesh.
Rooppur staff training courses involving international experts come in addition to Rosatom’s main training program for employees of under-construction nuclear power plants abroad.
Construction work at the Rooppur site is running on schedule. In late January, Atommash, a Volgodonsk-based production facility of AEM Technologies (a subsidiary of Rosatom) began manufacturing pipe elbows for the primary coolant pump of the plant’s second unit. The primary coolant pump is a product of the highest safety class. Its purpose is to ensure coolant circulation in the primary loop going through the reactor and steam generators.
The Rooppur nuclear power plant is a focal point of cooperation between Russia and Bangladesh, which has been repeatedly mentioned by their top officials. Speaking at the credentials presentation ceremony by ambassadors from 23 countries in early February, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the active development of bilateral cooperation. He said, “Ties between Russia and Bangladesh are developing rapidly. Trade is growing; we are working jointly on a large-scale nuclear construction project, building together the first nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. Since we share the same approach to most of the problems existing in the region, we expect our close cooperation with the UN and other multilateral organizations to continue.”
Featuring two Russian-designed VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 2,400 MW, the Rooppur nuclear power plant is constructed 160 km away from Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka under the general construction contract signed on December 25, 2015. Atomstroyexport (a subsidiary of Rosatom’s engineering division) acts as a general contractor for the Rooppur NPP. The first nuclear power plant in Bangladesh uses an evolutionary Generation III+ design that is successfully implemented at Novovoronezh II Unit 1 in Russia.
In 2017, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) issued a construction license for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant to the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC). This document confirmed safety of the power plant design and allowed for the construction work to begin on the site.
At present, work is underway at Rooppur Units 1 and 2.