Atomstroyexport, a unit of Russia's state-owned atomic power body Rosatom, has commenced construction on the 2400MW Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.

Located at Iswardi of Pabna district in Bangladesh, the Rooppur plant is being developed with an estimated investment of $12.6bn and is said to be the country’s first nuclear facility to be constructed in three decades.

The project, which is being supported by International Atomic Energy Agency, will comprise two VVER type (AES-2006) pressurized water reactors.

Atomstroyexport will build the two Rooppur reactors, each with 1200MW capacity, as part of the contract signed in December 2015.

Recently, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority has approved design and construction license for the first unit of the Rooppur facility.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: “The plant is being built with the help of Russia using so far the most modern technology.

“To ensure the safety we are following the guideline of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)”.

The two nuclear reactors at the Rooppur power plant are scheduled to be commissioned in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Hasina added: “We want to transform Bangladesh into a middle income country… and a developed one by 2041. I hope that the Rooppur Power Plant will play an important role in achieving this goal.

“Our government has given top priority to the issue of nuclear safety and radiological protection, while implementing the Rooppur project.”

In addition to creating jobs, the Rooppur nuclear plant is expected to provide energy security to the country.

IAEA director general Yukiya Amano said: “The Agency stands ready to continue supporting Bangladesh in developing a safe, secure, peaceful and sustainable nuclear power program.”

The nuclear facility is expected to have operational life of not less than 100 years, Atomstroyexport said.

Image: Construction underway at the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. Photo: courtesy of  JSC Atomstroyexport.