DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh on Thursday obtained the primary uranium cargo from Russia to gasoline the nation’s solely nuclear energy plant, nonetheless beneath building by Moscow. As soon as completed, the plant is anticipated to spice up Bangladesh’s nationwide grid and assist the South Asian nation’s rising economic system.
The Rooppur energy plant will produce 2,400 megawatts of electrical energy — powering about 15 million households — when the twin-unit facility goes totally on-line. The plant is being constructed by Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear vitality company. Moscow has funded the development with a $11.38 billion mortgage, to be repaid over 20 years, ranging from 2027.
As soon as Rooppur begins manufacturing, Bangladesh will be a part of greater than 30 international locations that run nuclear energy reactors.
The uranium, which arrived in Bangladesh late final month, was handed over to the authorities at a ceremony in Ishwardi, the place the plant is positioned, within the northern district of Pabna on Thursday. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Russian President Vladimir Putin joined the ceremony — each by video hyperlink.
Putin stated the plant will cowl about 10% of Bangladesh’s vitality consumption when launched. He stated greater than 20,000 folks labored on its building and that over 1,000 folks had been educated to function it.
“Along with you, we’re constructing not only a nuclear energy plant, however your entire atomic trade,” Putin stated.
Hasina stated that Russia has promised to take again the spent gasoline from Rooppur and he or she additionally assured her nation that the plant is safely constructed towards injury from pure disasters.
On Thursday, Aleksey Likhachev, head of Rosatom, handed over the gasoline on the operate to Bangladesh’s Science and Expertise Minister Yeafesh Osman, in accordance with the United Information of Bangladesh information company. The report supplied no different particulars on the quantity of uranium that was shipped.
Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog — the Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company — additionally joined by video convention, the report stated.
Osman was cited as saying the primary unit at Rooppur will turn into operational in July 2024 and the second in July 2025. The gasoline is anticipated to permit the reactor to function for one 12 months, after which extra gasoline should be loaded.
The uranium was produced on the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant in Russia, a subsidiary of Rosatom’s gasoline manufacturing firm Tevel.
Bangladesh and Russia have historically maintained good relations, which have not modified within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final 12 months. Dhaka has signed a number of contracts with Moscow on cooperation within the nuclear energy trade, commerce and funds, and in different sectors.
Bangladesh has deliberate to rely much less on pure gasoline, which now accounts for about half of energy manufacturing within the nation. It is usually organising coal-fired energy crops whereas it has a long-term plan to supply 40% of the nation’s electrical energy from renewable sources comparable to photo voltaic, wind and hydroelectric energy by 2041.
Related Press author Vladimir Isachenkov contributed to this report.