Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant: Bangladesh, India, Russia sign MoU
Bangladesh, India and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on implementing the Rooppur nuclear power plant.
The deal was signed in Moscow between Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), science and technology ministry of Bangladesh and the Department of Atomic Energy of India.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Russia SM Saiful Hoque, Indian Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran and Deputy Director General (international relations) of Rosatom Nikolay Spassky signed the MoU, the Russian nuclear corporation said in a statement on Thursday.
Pankaj had been India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh for over three years.
Under the deal, Indian companies can be involved in construction and installation works, supply of materials and equipment of a non-critical category in the interests of the project, the statement said.
This is the first instance of a third country (India) being involved in the construction of the Rooppur power plant in Bangladesh for which the first agreement was signed between Bangladesh and Russia in November 2011.
Significantly, India is not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which controls global nuclear commerce, and hence cannot participate directly in construction of atomic power reactors. India is also not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which New Delhi considers as “discriminatory”.
Construction of the Rooppur nuclear power plant will consist of two power units with a capacity of 1,200 MW each. The two units is planned to be commissioned in 2023 and 2024.
The MoU set a framework for the interaction between the Russian contractor and experts from India and Bangladesh in the implementation of works related to the project, Rosatom said.
“The parties, in particular, will cooperate in the field of personnel training, exchange of experience and consulting support. Indian companies can be involved in construction and installation works, the supply of materials and equipment of a non-critical category in the interests of the project,” the statement said.
Spassky described the signing of the MoU as a “landmark event” for the nuclear industry as a whole.
“We are confident that this is the first step toward the formation of a new, forward-looking cooperation agenda in the region [South Asia],” he said.
Russia is building the Rooppur nuclear power plant on “turnkey” basis. The general construction contractor is JSC Atomstroyexport (part of the engineering division of Rosatom). The scope of work includes design, production and supply of equipment, construction, installation, start-up and commissioning, the statement said.
In 2015-2016, the General Contractor carried out the preliminary work at the construction site, prepared operating documentation, worked out the documents to justify licences for siting and constructing the power units.
On November 30 last year, the ceremony of pouring the “first concrete” into the foundation of the reactor compartment of the first power unit took place.
According to Rosatom, India, Bangladesh and Russia on Thursday signed an agreement to allow Indian firms in construction and installation works in the “non-critical” category for the Rooppur nuclear power plant project.