The first shipment of nuclear fuel for Unit-1 of Bangladesh's maiden-2,400 megawatt (MW) Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) has arrived in Dhaka today (28 September).
The uranium from Russia landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Thursday (28 September) afternoon, RNPP Project Director and Nuclear Scientist Dr Shawkat Akbar told The Business Standard.
Produced at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP) in Russia – a subsidiary of Rosatom's fuel manufacturing company TVEL – the uranium will now be transported by road to the project site in Ishwardi, Pabna.
The Bangladesh Army and law enforcement officers have been assigned to provide special security during the transport, the project director added.
To this end, the finance ministry guaranteed Tk4,346 crore in compensation for any accidents or damage during the nuclear fuel transportation from Dhaka airport to the project area by road.
Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev will officially hand over the shipment to the Rooppur project authorities on 5 October.
Bangladesh is implementing its maiden nuclear power generation infrastructure, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant at Ishwardi upazila in Pabna.
As per the project plan, the first unit of the 2,400MW nuclear power plant is expected to commence commercial operation in the first quarter of 2024.
The $13 billion project is being implemented by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission with the technical and financial support of Russia.
Before fuel delivery, safety measures and a lot of essential infrastructure, such as power transmission lines and telecommunication, have to be ensured and certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) visiting team, said officials related to the project.
The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) inked a contract with Russia's state-run uranium mining and nuclear fuel production company TVEL in August 2019 for importing nuclear fuel for the plant.
Sources at the BAEC said one-third of the nuclear fuel in the plant will have to be changed every 18 months.