The ‘first concrete’ to the basemat of Rooppur-1 NPP in Pabna Province (Bangladesh) was poured on November 30, 2017.
The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and Director General of ROSATOM Alexei Likhachev.
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said that the construction of a NPP was a long-lasting dream of the Bangladeshi people and today they became one step closer to its becoming true. She said Bangladesh becomes part of the nuclear world. Rooppur NPP will be constructed using cutting-edge technologies and we grateful to Russia and Russian people for that, she said.
“Today we start building a facility which life cycle is over 100 years. It means that we lay down bases of friendship and cooperation not only for us but for our children and grandchildren. Similar plant with the innovative VVER-1200 is already operated in Russia. We will be constructing the plant in Bangladesh with the same care and attention as in Russia,” Alexei Likhachev, Head of ROSATOM, noted.
For Russia, construction of a new NPP means new orders for Russian nuclear companies, increase in the share of high-technology export and new jobs in Russia. The construction of the two-reactor NPP allows engaging 12,000 Russian specialists: designers, engineers, equipment makers, builders, and power engineers. 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, give the impetus to development of science and technology, and creatie new jobs. Maximum production of power in Bangladesh now is slightly more than 4,000 MW. Two additional electricity sources (Rooppur-1,2) totaling 2,400 MW will raise substantially the country’s energy independence.
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. According to the plan, the beginning of the operation of Rooppur-1 is scheduled for 2023, Rooppur-2 - 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.