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Construction of the Rooppur NPP is progressing rapidly, as workers have finished concreting the inner containment shell at Unit 2. Rosatom also helps Bangladesh train personnel for the nuclear plant under construction.
The inner containment shell (ICS) makes the reactor building airtight and serves as support for pipeline penetrations and a polar crane, which is used for reactor maintenance operations. More than 3,200 cubic meters of concrete were laid on the structure measuring 17.6 meters high and 42.8 meters in diameter.
“Having built the ICS passive safety system, we are moving on to equally important construction operations. We are now working on the construction of the outer containment, consolidating steel structural parts of its dome section,” said Alexei Deriy, ASE Vice President and Director of the Rooppur construction project.
In late May, the installation of a core barrel was completed in the reactor building of Unit 1. The 3.6‑meter round, 73‑ton core barrel is made of austenitic stainless steel and is an integral part of the nuclear power reactor. The core barrel houses a baffle and fuel assemblies that take part in the nuclear reaction. The bottom of the barrel is perforated to enable coolant circulation and to cool the fuel assemblies. “The installation of the core barrel is another major milestone in the construction of the Rooppur NPP. After that, we will proceed with the assembly of the reactor,” Alexei Deriy commented.
Meanwhile, work continues to train the staff for the nuclear power plant. Currently, 52 employees of the Rooppur NPP are undergoing a training course at the Novovoronezh NPP in Russia. In early June, representatives from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) and Rosatom experts visited the site. The purpose of the visit was to assess the training process.
“Novovoronezh Units 6 and 7 serve as a reference for the two reactors at the Rooppur NPP. We are interested in the development of nuclear power and aim to model our nuclear power plant after yours as closely as possible. Adopting the best practices and learning from your experience is crucial for us. We are satisfied with the high level of training for our people,” said Rooppur NPP Construction Director Islam Ashraful.
It is planned that 367 nuclear workers from Bangladesh will complete their training in Russia by the end of 2023. Since 2019, a total of 1,643 employees from Bangladesh have received training at the International Staff Training Center in Novovoronezh. The training course includes theoretical classes, laboratory training, simulator-based skill practicing, and on-the-job training at the nuclear power plant.
In May, a group of Bangladesh Army officers from the Rooppur NPP security squad participated in a two-week Security of Nuclear Facilities training course in Russia. The course was led by instructors from the Institute of Global Nuclear Safety and Security of the Rosatom Technical Academy. The students learned about security systems used at nuclear facilities and studied key international regulatory documents. The training program included theoretical classes and practical exercises held at a special training area of Rosatom’s Technical Academy. The Bangladesh Army has been ensuring the security of the under-construction Rooppur nuclear plant since 2020.
In early June, the Saint Petersburg branch of Rosatom’s Technical Academy held an IAEA international training course on preventive and protective measures against insider threats. The attendees from 14 countries, including Bangladesh, were informed about the recommended approaches to and methods of countering insider threats to nuclear materials and associated facilities.
During the training, instructors from the IAEA, Russia, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan provided practical advice from the IAEA Nuclear Security Series on basic concepts and key measures for mitigating insider threats at nuclear facilities and shared their practical experience.
In September 2023, the Technical Academy in Obninsk will conduct a similar IAEA guidance course for BAEC employees, at the request of Bangladesh.
Rosatom has always been an active contributor to social initiatives in the nuclear host communities. This year, Ishwardi Upazila celebrated the World Environment Day for the 50th time. The festive events were held as part of a public awareness program aimed at combating environmental pollution. Rosatom, with support from BAEC, launched the program. The festivities included the Clean Environment Program for students and an educational event held at the Dashuriya Mokarram Memorial High School, attended by thousands of schoolchildren and adults. During the event, Rosatom representatives discussed the issues of plastic pollution and plastic threats to the environment. Additionally, they explained the role of nuclear power in addressing climate issues. “Waste management is crucial for a clean environment, and we should continue Rosatom’s initiatives to raise awareness of this issue. The nuclear power plant in Rooppur will not only help us meet our electricity needs, but also have a significantly positive social impact,” said Md. Moniruzzaman, Deputy Manager at the Rooppur NPP.
AtomStroyExport (ASE) is Rosatom’s engineering division and a global leader in the construction of nuclear power plants abroad, with the world’s largest portfolio of nuclear construction contracts. The division is active in Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Pacific.