Nuclear power continues to play a key role in the global low-carbon energy mix, and climate change mitigation remains a key driver for maintaining and expanding the use of nuclear power, says a diplomat.
"Bangladesh is an embarking country in the field of nuclear energy," said Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to UN Agencies and other international organisations in Vienna Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith.
Hence, he said, it is essential to be introduced well with the evolving new generation nuclear power reactors (NPR) to address the technical challenges.
Muhith, in a recent interview with NUCLEAR ASIA, said it is worth noting that now 442 nuclear power reactors in 31 countries are producing 390 GW electricity -10 percentof the global production, which is expected to be double by 2050, and 53 reactors are under construction in 19 countries, including in Bangladesh, for an additional 56 GW.
Advanced nuclear reactors and their applications are gaining momentum, as they are seen as nuclear energy systems able to contribute to the global transition towards more sustainable, affordable and reliable energy systems, he said.
Muhith said the new-generation NPPs are well equipped with robust safety gears, such as the passive and active safety systems. To be familiarised with such advanced NPP technology and possible transfer of technology for peaceful uses, international collaboration is essential for Bangladesh.
"Also, Bangladesh attaches great importance to the issue of safety, security and sustainability of the nuclear technology and to ensure that, international cooperation will play a critical role in the coming days in terms of benefiting from the best practices," he said.
Muhith said Bangladesh engages with other Member States on peaceful uses of nuclear technology, including in nuclear energy, through IAEA's (International Atomic Energy Agency) regional and international programmes and projects.
In the context of nuclear power, at present Bangladesh's major focus is on RNNP, which is being built with Russia's cooperation.
"We are looking forward to its successful construction and operationalisation," said the Ambassador.
For instance, he said, currently Bangladesh has a tripartite agreement among Bangladesh-Russia-India for collaborative efforts to extend support to the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant construction work and human resource development.
Peaceful Nuclear Programmes
Ambassador Muhith said the peaceful nuclear programmes of the IAEA member states, including Bangladesh, are being implemented under the IAEA guidelines of safety fundamentals.
He said IAEA's integrated support to countries embarking on new nuclear power programmes helps to lay the foundations for a first nuclear power plant through expert peer review missions, tailor-made activities to address identified gaps, and capacity building.
Thus, the Ambassador said, the peaceful nuclear programmes are essentially implemented under the IAEA milestone approach as per the peer-review remarks of IAEA experts.
"Therefore, the recommendations from the IAEA, expert review missions, and capacity building support play critical role in promoting and supporting nuclear energy programs of emerging countries like Bangladesh," he said.