Fuel License Obtained
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#268August 2023

Fuel License Obtained

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In mid-­July, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority, a local watchdog, issued a nuclear fuel management, storage and transportation license to the Rooppur NPP operator, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC). This opens the door to the next milestone of the Rooppur project: the delivery of nuclear fuel to the site.

An official license transfer ceremony was held in the city of Pabna. Speaking at the ceremony, Bangladesh Minister of Science and Technology Yafes Osman emphasized the importance of the Rooppur NPP project and wished it successful implementation. Alexey Deriy, ASE Vice President and Director of the Rooppur construction project, recalled the delivery of nuclear fuel to a nuclear power plant was a technology-­intensive and multi-­level process that had to meet all the applicable international safety standards. “Nuclear fuel will not be shipped and delivered to the Rooppur NPP until all the required inspections and control procedures have been successfully completed,” Alexey Deriy pointed out. The fuel delivery to the site is tentatively scheduled for mid-autumn this year.

In early August, the first batch of nuclear fuel for the Rooppur NPP successfully passed customer acceptance inspection at Russia-­based Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (part of Rosatom’s fuel division TVEL).

“We took into account the customer’s feedback both during the pre-production phase and at every stage of fuel fabrication and delivery to the site,” said Alexander Bukhvalov, Chief Quality Officer at TVEL.

In late July, the Rooppur NPP project was discussed at the highest level when Rosatom Chief Alexey Likhachev visited Bangladesh and had a meeting with Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

“Together with our Bangladesh colleagues, we have approached one of the project’s crucial milestones. With fresh fuel delivered to the construction site, the nuclear plant will receive a nuclear facility status and Bangladesh will join the ranks of the countries that use atomic energy for peaceful purposes,” Alexey Likhachev said.

Both 1,200 MW reactor units at Rooppur are in the active construction phase. In late July, a ventilation pipe was installed in the reactor building of Unit 1. Weighing 100 tons, the pipe measures 67 meters in length. The workers used a powerful crane to erect the pipe. This highly complex operation took 8 hours and began with gradually positioning the structure vertically. Then the pipe was lifted a few meters to inspect the slings and crane stability before being moved to the installation area.

“The ventilation pipe is designed to remove excess heat and moisture from the reactor compartment. After the pipe was erected, the top mark of the reactor building reached +99.500 (+101.000 with the lightning rod). Only 175‑meter cooling towers of the Rooppur NPP are higher,” Alexey Deriy noted. He mentioned that work was continuing at the reactor unit to install other large-­sized equipment.

Training activities for the plant employees are also continuing.

In early August, a group of the Rooppur NPP security officers completed a pilot training course on the security infrastructure management at Rosatom’s Technical Academy.

Egor Bologov, Director of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Institute, thanked the trainees for their dedication.

“You are the first employees who will manage the security systems of your first nuclear power plant. It will be a complex and very interesting task, but you will certainly achieve good results, working as a team with Rosatom experts,” he said.

The course attendees spent a month listening to the lectures and gaining practical skills in maintaining control over the facility, working with various software programs, creating databases, responding to emergency situations, and in other areas.

“The course gave us the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and practical skills that will undoubtedly help us in our future work at the facility. We are grateful to the highly qualified teachers from Russia for the expertise they shared with us,” said S. M. Fahad Ahmad, the head of the group and a representative of the Rooppur NPP security service.