The government of Bangladesh is building its first nuclear power plant in Rooppur on the east side of the river Padma, near Ishwardi in the Pabna district of Bangladesh.
The project is being implemented by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), under the guidance of the science and technology ministry of the government of Bangladesh. The nuclear power plant (NPP) will include two units, Rooppur Unit-1 and Rooppur Unit-2, each with a capacity of 1.2GW.
The foundation stone for the Rooppur NPP was laid in October 2013 and the first concrete for the main construction phase was poured in November 2017. The main construction of Unit-2 began in July 2018, with the pouring of the first concrete.
The installation of the reactor pressure vessel for Unit-2 was completed in October 2022 and the outside containment concreting for Rooppur Unit-1 was completed in March 2023.
The two units are scheduled for commissioning in 2024 and 2025.
The Rooppur NPP will use cutting-edge technologies and will follow the safety guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA supported Bangladesh in the assessment of sites and the development of a radioactive waste management system for its nuclear power programme.
The project will provide low-cost electricity to more 1.5 million families and create new jobs in Bangladesh. The country’s power production currently exceeds 4GW a year. The new plant will increase production and enable Bangladesh to achieve energy independence.
Rooppur nuclear power plant details
Rooppur NPP will be equipped with two VVER-1200 water-cooled, water-moderated power reactors of the AES-2006/V-392M design.
Each reactor unit comprises a reactor and four circulation loops. Each loop includes circulation pipelines, a reactor coolant pump and a horizontal steam generator.
The nominal thermal power of the reactor is 3.2GW, while the maximum utilisation factor is above 90%. The duration of the fuel operation cycle in the reactor is between four and five years.
The Rooppur NPP’s main equipment will have a service life of more than 60 years.
The plant will also include meteorological and water gauge stations and permanent seismic stations, as well as storage and laboratory facilities.
Rooppur NPP construction details
The plant’s preparatory construction was carried out in 2015-16. It included the construction of amenities and office buildings, roads, security fences and storage facilities.
The main construction works included excavation, the installation of a pit water removal system, the development of a pit for units one and two, soil stabilisation works and foundations for both reactor units.
In March 2018, a trilateral agreement was signed to allow Indian companies to take part in construction and installation works for the project. Indian firms can also supply non-critical equipment, according to a memorandum of understanding.
The reactor pressure vessel for Rooppur Unit-1 was installed in October 2021, with the concreting of the inner containment dome completed in July 2022. Concreting of the inner containment dome for Rooppur Unit-2 began in August 2022, with the installation of the reactor pressure vessel completed two months later.
Russia agreed to provide a $500m loan to Bangladesh for the project’s on-site engineering studies, project development and personnel training.
Rooppur NPP safety features
The Rooppur NPP incorporates defence-in-depth protection. This is a multi-layer protection and mitigation system capable of mitigating any accident and ensuring the safety of the environment.
The system includes five layers of barriers to prevent radiation exposure.
Rooppur nuclear power plant contractors
JSC Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, was appointed as a general contractor for the project by BAEC. The contract includes the supply of equipment, materials and nuclear fuel, as well as providing training to the project management team.
A $79.3m contract was awarded to Inter RAO Engineering for pit excavation of the main buildings and construction of facilities for the plant.
The Goldenberg Group of Companies was awarded the civil construction and pipe-laying works contract.
Orgenergostroy carried out a comprehensive engineering survey for the plant and constructed the pilot bases and residential camps for the contractors.
The power plant will use TZV-1200-2 steam turbine generators developed and manufactured by Power Machines, a power engineering company based in Russia.
Russian firm TVEL Fuel Company received a contract to serve as the single-source supplier of nuclear fuel for the nuclear power project in August 2019.
Chinese construction equipment company SANY provided tower cranes and trailer pumps for the construction of the plant.
Paharpur Cooling Towers, a company based in India, was contracted by Atomstroyexport to construct two natural draught cooling towers for the project.