The event was attended by Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Alexey Likhachev, director general of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom).
The ceremony marked the pivot towards modern and safe nuclear technologies of another Asian country, according to Rosatom’s press statement.
“NPP construction is a long-nurtured dream of the Bengali nation. Today we made another step toward its realization. We enter the nuclear world, which is a matter of great pride and honor for us as a nation, we are grateful to Russia and Russian people for this,” said Hasina.
“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 or IAEA.”
“Today we are not only beginning construction of the facility with lifecycle not less than 100 years, but at the same time further cementing foundation of friendship and cooperation for us and our children and grandchildren. Similar plant with the innovative VVER-1200 reactors is already operational in Russia. We will pay as much attention and care to the construction of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh as we do in Russia,” said Likhachev.
The press statement said the development of nuclear power will be beneficial for the Bangladeshi economy as well, give the impetus to development of science and technology, and create new jobs. Maximum production of power in Bangladesh now is slightly more than 4,000 MW. The Rooppur nuclear power plant units will contribute substantially to the country s enenrgy security.
Rosatom has been working long and successful with India which neighbors Bangladesh, as well as with a list of Asean member states including Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
Meanwhile Phongphaeth Pengvanich, head of Department of Nuclear Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University said
the Rooppur NPP project demonstrates that despite the high upfront capital cost, the nuclear power plant is still a viable choice for developing country to put into its energy mix as the technology can provide a reliable and clean baseload power at high capacity factor and low operating cost.
The plant’s large output can quickly respond to the increase in demand for electricity and help reduce the dependence on other energy sources.