Departing Year in Reviewback to contents
A year ago, on January 25, 2022, Bangladesh and Russia marked a milestone in their bilateral relations — on that day 50 years before, less than a year after the declaration of Bangladesh’s independence, the countries had established diplomatic relations. In the year that passed, the Rooppur project made much progress as Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant grew in leaps and bounds. Let us take a look back at last year’s key events.
Welding operations on the primary coolant pipes of Rooppur Unit 1 were completed in late February. The welds — 28 pipe joints altogether — are subject to particularly strict requirements as operational safety of the reactor depends heavily on the quality of welding. These are the pipes that serve to deliver hot water from the reactor to the steam generators.
In late March, four steam headers were installed in their permanent position at Unit 1. In early April, a stator of the turbine generator was put into place in the turbine hall. The turbine generator consists of two main parts, a rotor and a stator. The rotor, a powerful accumulator of mechanical energy, rotates inside the stationary stator. This is the mechanism that converts mechanical energy into electric power.
In late June, construction workers finished the installation of an internal containment dome at Unit 2 — its height reached 60.5 meters.
Installation of the lower section of the dome was completed a week before. The main challenge was that the two sections had to be aligned with an accuracy of less than 1 cm. Also in June, an emergency core cooling system (ECCS) was installed in the reactor building of the same unit. In August, the work began to concrete the internal containment dome of the reactor building. In late September, installation of traveling cranes was completed in the turbine building. The cranes will be used for erection and installation operations during the construction phase, and for maintenance and repairs during the operation of the nuclear power plant.
Also in late September, plant systems were energized for the first time as auxiliary electrical equipment was turned on to supply electricity to the plant in operation.
In the second half of October, the Rooppur NPP passed another milestone as a 333.6‑ton VVER‑1200 reactor pressure vessel was installed at Unit 2. The ceremony was attended by Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed. In late October, installation of steam generators was completed at Rooppur Unit 2.
In late November, workers finished the installation of steel structures for the external containment dome at the reactor building of Unit 1. The height of the containment reached 63.910 meters.
In late October, a staff training center opened its doors at the Rooppur site. Designed to train different categories of operational and maintenance personnel, it has no counterpart in terms of the training equipment installed. In addition, Russian experts developed a complete curriculum and training programs that Bangladesh might need in the future to educate employees on its own. As planned, a total of 50 groups of Bengalis will obtain a profession there.
As an active contributor to social initiatives in the region, Rosatom raises public awareness of nuclear technology, its safety and applications. In late May, the Information Center on Nuclear Energy in Dhaka (ICONE Dhaka) hosted an event for the female employees of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre (a local planetarium) and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC). The event was part of a program dedicated to International Mother’s Day. Female employees and their children visited ICONE, took part in different scientific contests and a quiz.
In mid-June, Ishwardi hosted an award ceremony for the winners of Precise Energy 2022 science competition organized by Rosatom in partnership with the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) and the National Nuclear Research University (MEPhI, Russia). More than 1,000 Bangladeshi students took part in the competition, and over 300 of them made it to the finals.
In late May, the Research Institute of Applied Physics and Automation (NIITFA, part of Rosatom) won a contract to supply a commercial gamma-ray unit and radiation sources to Bangladesh for the treatment of agricultural produce and medical items. The full scope of work to be done by NIITFA in 2023 includes engineering design, production, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the gamma-ray equipment. Other Rosatom Group companies will be also involved in the project. Their joint product will be an upgraded gamma-ray unit with an effective activity of 400 kCi.
A delegation from Bangladesh visited Atomexpo 2022 International Forum in Moscow, Among Bangladesh delegates at Atomexpo 2022 were Rooppur Project Director Shawkat Akbar, officials from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), nuclear researchers, and reporters. The delegation was headed by Minister of Science and Technology of Bangladesh, Yafes Osman. Speaking at the plenary session, the minister highlighted the importance of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant for the national development. Bangladesh officials also took part in other events at Atomexpo.