Ceremony of pouring the “first concrete” to the foundation slab of Unit 1 of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) took place at Iswardi of Pabna district in Bangladesh on Thursday. The event was attended by Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and Director General of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation Alexey Likhachev.
“With the pouring of first concrete of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant begins the realization of its dream. We enter the nuclear world, which is a matter of great pride and honor for us as a nation, we are grateful to Russia and Russian people for this” - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said.
“The plant is being built with the help of Russia using so far the most modern technology. To ensure the safety we are following the guideline of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)”.
“Today we are not only beginning construction of the facility with lifecycle not less than 100 years, but at the same time further cementing foundation of friendship and cooperation for us and our children and grandchildren. Similar plant with the innovative VVER-1200 reactors is already operational in Russia. We will pay as much attention and care to the construction of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh as we do in Russia,” Alexei Likhachev, Director General of ROSATOM, noted.
For Russia the construction of a new NPP means new orders for Russian nuclear companies, increasing the share of high-technology export and creating new jobs in Russia. 12,000 Russian specialists: designers, engineers, equipment makers, builders, and power engineers will be involved in the construction. At present, the foreign orders portfolio of ROSATOM includes 34 nuclear power units in 12 world countries.
The development of nuclear power will be beneficial for the Bangladeshi economy as well, give the impetus to development of science and technology, and create new jobs. Maximum production of power in Bangladesh now is slightly more than 4,000 MW. The Rooppur NPP units will contribute substantially to the country s enenrgy security.
Rooppur NPP with two VVER-1200s and total power of 2,400 MW is built to the Russian design at 160 km from the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, as per the general contract of December 25, 2015. The general construction contractor is JSC Atomstroyexport (part of the Engineering Division of ROSATOM). In 2015-2016 the General Contractor carried out the preliminary work on the construction site, prepared operating documentation, worked out the documents to justify licenses for siting and constructing the power units. In 2017 the work continued in accordance to the schedule. On November 4, 2017, the Bangladeshi regulatory authority (BAERA) issued a license for beginning of the construction of the plant. “The first concrete” is the start of the main construction phase of Rooppur NPP. Commissioning of Unit 1 of Rooppur NPP is scheduled for year 2023, Unit 2 is scheduled for 2024.
The Russian design with VVER-1200 reactors has been selected for Rooppur NPP. This design is implemented at Novovoronezh Phase II. The first unit of Novovoronezh Phase II has already been in commercial operation that makes the design the referent one. This is an evolutionary design of Generation III+ which fully meets international safety requirements. In 2017, new Russian power unit, Novovoronezh-1 Phase II, was named among the best three nuclear units of the world by the version of the high-profile international periodical POWER (USA).
The Rooppur NPP project implies the defense-in-depth concept which is fundamental for the entire plant protection system. The main feature of the defense-in-depth concept is a multi-layer protection and mitigation of consequences of hypothetic man-made accidents and human error. These guarantee safety of the environment.
The region of South Asia knows ROSATOM perfectly well. The corporation has been working long and successful with India which neighbors Bangladesh. The Russian party has a unique and multi-year experience in building nuclear power plants which are complex high-technology engineering facilities in the south latitudes, hot and humid climate, and restrained access to fresh water. The Rooppur NPP site is situated in the region with such weather conditions where the monsoon period lasts from May till October.