Third batch of uranium reaches Rooppur plant

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News Desk

The third shipment of uranium for the first unit of the under-construction Rooppur Nuclear Power Project in Pabna has arrived in Rooppur amid tight security.

On Friday at 8:45am, the convoy of vehicles transporting uranium entered the project area, having crossed Dashuriya in Ishwardi along the Natore-Kushtia-Pabna highway.

A special security arrangement was in place, comprising law enforcement forces and the army, as the vehicles carrying uranium made their way to the Rooppur nuclear power project.

To ensure security, all traffic on the Natore-Kushtia highway was halted from dawn to 9:30am. An alternative route was provided through Pabna’s Nagarbari road, said Pakshi Highway Police Officer-in-Charge (OC) Ashish Kumar Sanal.

Project Director of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project Dr M Shawkat Akbar said that the third shipment of uranium from Russia had arrived in Dhaka via a special plane on Thursday. Similar to the first and second shipments, the imported nuclear fuel was transported to Rooppur by road under maximum security.

Four additional consignments are expected to arrive in the country in stages. In the initial phase, two units with a combined capacity of 2,400MW will generate electricity continuously for a year, utilizing a total of seven fuel shipments.

According to the agreement, Russia will supply the fuel used for power generation in Rooppur for free for three years.

The RNPP project aims to establish a 2,400MW nuclear power plant with two 1,200MW capacity units. The first unit’s reactor was loaded in October 2021, while the second unit’s reactor was installed in October 2022.

Upon loading the nuclear fuel into the reactors, power can be generated for one year before reloading is necessary.

The RNPP project was conceived in 2009, and an agreement with Russia on the “Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy” was signed on May 13, 2009. Subsequent agreements and contracts have led to its realization, with the first unit projected to become operational in July 2024 and the second in July 2025.

The development places Bangladesh in the esteemed company of 32 other nations around the world that utilize nuclear energy for various purposes.

As of May 2023, there were 436 nuclear reactors in operation in 32 countries around the world. The United States had the largest number of nuclear power reactors in operation at the time, at 93 units.

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