Turnkey Nuclear Project
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#275March 2024

Turnkey Nuclear Project

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The first quarter of 2024 saw a number of key construction operations completed at the site of Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant. Its Unit 1 is expected to go critical later this year.

Speaking at the World Youth Festival in Sochi (Russia) in early March, Rosatom chief Alexey Likhachev said that the first reactor of the Rooppur NPP might achieve its first criticality as early as December 2024. He recalled that Rosatom had delivered the first batch of fresh nuclear fuel to the Rooppur construction site the previous autumn.

The winter season was full of events for the Rooppur NPP as outer and inner sections of the passive heat removal system (PHRS) deflector were installed in late January. This complex two-step operation requires extraordinary precision: the 135‑tonne and 80‑tonne sections had to be installed with the maximum permitted deviation of 10 mm.

“Installing two sections of the PHRS deflector in two days is record-fast. As the next step, we will install steel structures for the PHRS deflector service platforms and assemble PHRS air ducts,” said Alexey Deriy, ASE Vice President and Director of the Rooppur construction project.

The deflector is a stainless steel cylinder with a diameter of about 25.5 meters. It is designed to increase draft in the ventilation channel and make the ventilation more effective. The functioning of the passive heat removal system relies entirely on the principles of natural circulation: atmospheric air enters the heat exchangers, gets heated and then rises through the ducts to the outlet at the top of the dome, through which it exhausts into the atmosphere, thus cooling the reactor compartment. The PHRS operates by natural and continuous processes that require no human intervention or an external source of power.

Also in late January, workers finished concreting the outer containment dome at Rooppur Unit 2. The work, which took 122 days to do, was completed five days ahead of schedule by simultaneously concreting the last two tiers. A total of 1,233 cubic meters of concrete was poured to build the outer containment dome. Its base diameter exceeds 46 meters.

The outer containment is a leak-tight safety structure made of reinforced concrete. It protects the reactor from external impacts and can withstand an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane.

The construction project of Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant is under close supervision of the government and regulatory authorities of Bangladesh and Russia. In mid-­February, representatives of Rosatom and the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision of Russia (Rostechnadzor) met in Moscow with a high-level Bangladeshi delegation headed by Shaheed Hossain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The parties discussed regulatory and licensing issues related to the construction and subsequent commissioning of the nuclear power plant, development of human resources in the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA), qualification requirements, and issuance of working permits to the nuclear plant personnel. Rostechnadzor director Alexander Trembitsky assured the Bangladeshi colleagues of Rostechnadzor’s continued commitment to providing BAERA with the necessary assistance.