Russia to take back Bangladesh used fuel

12 June 2017

Russia is expected to take back around 45 tonnes of used fuel every year once the proposed 2400MWe Rooppur nuclear power plant goes into operation, the Bangladesh Financial Express (FE) reported on 10 June.

Russia and Bangladesh have fully agreed and initialled a draft intergovernmental agreement on the management of used fuel at Rooppur, the head of communications at Russia's ASE Group of Companies Nina Dementsova told the FE.

"In a 1200MWe reactor with a 12-month fuel cycle, 42 fuel assemblies are taken out every year for replacement. Each assembly contains 534kg of nuclear fuel, which means the reactor produces approximately 22.5t of used fuel a year," Dementsova explained. The Bangladesh government signed the draft agreement on 5 June.

The first of the two Rooppur units is expected to go into operation in 2023 and the second in 2024, according to a recent statement by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, which is supplying the plants. Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2017, Rosatom added.

The pouring of first concrete on the Rooppur project has been delayed by a month to September 2017, after an accident involving a heavy duty crane at the plant site in April. Russia's ASE Group of Companies is the general contractor for the Rooppur project, which will cost BDT1,130bn ($12.65bn), with Russian supplier credit of $11.38bn. The Russian Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs and Bangladesh's state-owned Sonali Bank Ltd are the authorised banks for the state loan. The Bangladesh government will provide BDT220.52bn of funding for the project.

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