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Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant

Coordinates: 24°4′0″N 89°2′50″E / 24.06667°N 89.04722°E / 24.06667; 89.04722
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Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant
Wide angle view of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant
LocationIshwardi Upazila, Pabna District, Rajshahi Division, Bangladesh
Coordinates24°4′0″N 89°2′50″E / 24.06667°N 89.04722°E / 24.06667; 89.04722
Commission date2024
Construction cost$12.65 billion
Owner(s)Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission
Operator(s)Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Limited
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Cooling towers4 × Natural Draft
Cooling sourcePadma River
Thermal capacity2 × 3,200 MWth
Power generation
Make and modelVVER-1200/523
Units under const.2 × 1,200 MW (gross)
Nameplate capacity2,160 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (Bengali: রূপপুর পারমাণবিক বিদ্যুৎকেন্দ্র) is a 2.4 GWe nuclear power plant project in Bangladesh. The nuclear power plant is being constructed at Rooppur of Ishwardi Upazila on the bank of the river Padma, 87 miles (140 km) west of Dhaka. It will be the country's first nuclear power plant, and the first of the two units is expected to go into operation in 2024.[1][2][3] The VVER-1200/523 Nuclear reactor and critical infrastructures are being built by the Russian Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.[4] In the main construction period, the total number of employees will reach 12,500, including 2,500 specialists from Russia. It is expected to generate around 15% of the country's electricity when completed.



Satellite image of the power plant and surrounding area in January 2024

The plan to establish a nuclear power plant in the then East Pakistan was made in 1961.[5] In 1963, the Rooppur village of the Pabna district was selected for the proposed plant and 254 acres (103 ha) of land was acquired. The plan was to establish a 200MW nuclear power plant on the selected site. Discussions took place with the Government of Canada from 1964 to 1966. Discussions with the governments of Sweden and Norway were also going on in those years. However, no real progress was made. In 1970, the project was scrapped.

After Bangladesh gained independence, the Government of Bangladesh started discussion with the Soviet Union in 1974, but no agreement was reached. In 1976–77, the French company Sofratom conducted a feasibility study and found the project at Rooppur feasible. In 1980, a 125 MW nuclear power plant project was approved. However, this effort also did not materialize. In 1987-88, another feasibility study was conducted and the decision made to construct a 300 to 500 MW nuclear power plant. In 1998, steps were taken to construct a 600 MW power plant. The nuclear action plan was approved in 2000.

In 2005, Bangladesh signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with China. In 2007, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) proposed two 500 MW nuclear reactors for Rooppur by 2015. In 2008, China offered funding for the project. Instead, the Bangladesh government started discussion with the Russian government a year later and on 13 February the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding. Rosatom said they would start construction by 2013.[6][7][8][9][10]

In 2011, International Atomic Energy Agency conducted IAEA Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Bangladesh. Later on, IAEA approved a technical assistance project for the Rooppur nuclear power plant. In 2013 a group of Bangladeshi scientists and the global diaspora voiced profound concern over the safety and economic viability of the plant.[11] Several separate issues were raised, from the unsuitability of the site to the obsolescence of the VVER-1000 model proposed, questionable financing arrangements and a lack of agreement with Russia over nuclear waste disposal.[12]

In 2015, the proposal was delayed by a year. Rosatom offered a two VVER-1200 reactor power plant, increasing output to 2.4 GWe.[2] On December 25, 2015, representatives of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom signed the contract for the construction of the Rooppur nuclear power plant worth the equivalent of US$12.65 billion.[13] Three days later, The Daily Star echoed criticism from Germany-based Transparency International about increased costs, from statements of around US$4 billion made earlier in the same year.[14] Transparency International also expressed concern about the safety of the proposed plant.[14]


In 2016 ground preparation work commenced. The $12.65 billion contract is 90% funded by a loan from the Russian government. The two units generating 2.4 GWe are planned to be operational in 2024 and 2025. Rosatom will operate the units for the first year before handing over to Bangladeshi operators. Russia will supply the nuclear fuel and take back spent nuclear fuel.[15]

On 4 November 2017, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission received, from Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority, the design and construction license of Unit 1, paving the way for the nuclear island first concrete pour.[16][17]

The nuclear reactor and critical infrastructure are being built by Russian companies. Atomenergomash is the engineering division of Russia's state nuclear corporation, Rosatom. This company is the supplier of all the equipment for the reactor compartment of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and a significant part of the equipment for the machine room.[4] Over 70 tenders have been issued for ‘non-critical’ works where Bangladeshi and Indian construction companies can participate.

On 14 July 2018, the first concrete was poured for Unit 2.[18] The following month, Rosatom began installing a 200-tonne core catcher as the first large piece of equipment in the reactor building of Rooppur 1, describing it as "a unique protection system".[19]

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Bangladesh in early 2020, many projects such as the Dhaka Metro Rail were stalled, but the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant remained on track to be completed by 2023 or 2024.[20] Progress in this period includes Rosatom's engineering company Atommash completing hydraulic tests for Rooppur unit 1.[21] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, however, meant international sanctions and restrictions on movement of Russian capital and personnel. By 2022, Russia claimed its work on the plant was unaffected.[22]

In October 2023, the plant received its first shipment of uranium, signaling a milestone for the project.[23][24] Concrete work for Unit 2 was completed in January 2024.[25]


In 2024 the prime minister Sheikh Hasina requested Rosatom to build other two units, on completion of the first two units.[26]


VVER-1200/523 is one of the latest Generation III+ nuclear reactor. Design feature of the nuclear reactor is layered safety barriers preventing escape of radioactive material. The reactor has five layers:

  1. Fuel pellets: Radioactive elements are retained within the crystal structure of the fuel pellets.
  2. Fuel rods: The zircaloy tubes provide a further barrier resistant to heat and high pressure.
  3. Reactor shell: a massive steel shell encases the whole fuel assembly hermetically.
  4. Core catcher: A core catcher is a device provided to catch the molten core material (corium) of a nuclear reactor in case of a nuclear meltdown and prevent it from escaping the containment building.
  5. Reactor building: A concrete containment building is the last line of defence. It prevents escape of radiation. It also protects from external damages.[27][28][29]

The nuclear part of the plant is housed in a single building acting as containment and missile shield. Besides the reactor and steam generators this includes an improved refueling machine, and the computerized reactor control systems. Likewise protected in the same building are the emergency systems, including an emergency core cooling system, emergency backup diesel power supply, and backup feed water supply. A passive heat removal system had been added to the VVER-1200. The system is based on a cooling system and water tanks built on top of the containment dome.[30] The passive systems handle all safety functions for 24 hours, and core safety for 72 hours.

Other new safety systems include aircraft crash protection, hydrogen recombiners, and a core catcher to contain the molten reactor core in the event of a severe accident. Russia's arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey to install cooling systems for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.[31]

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the plant at various stages of construction, and has generally been satisfied with progress.[32]


The US$12.65 billion project is being constructed with a Russian loan amounting to US$11.38 billion, with repayments commencing 10 years after operation, with the rest financed by the Bangladesh government.

With an over 90% utilization factor, the power plant is expected to generate 19 billion kWh annually. Levelized Cost of Electricity(LCOE) is 56.73 (USD/MWh)[33]

Planned nuclear power reactors[edit]

Unit Type Capacity (gross) Construction started Operation Notes
Rooppur 1 VVER-1200/523 1200 MWe 30 November 2017 2024 [34]
Rooppur 2 VVER-1200/523 1200 MWe 14 July 2018 2025 [35]

Economic justification[edit]

Bangladesh's development strategy saw the country becoming a middle-income nation by 2021, a target that was not met, in large part through its science and technology sector driving economic growth. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) estimated in 2014 that US$6.2 billion would have been needed over a decade to achieve the goals of Vision 2021. The Science and Technology Act 2010 helped to boost this, and MoST is now allocating over $150 million per year to nuclear technology development as gas reserves become depleted and the world moves away from fossil fuels. Nonetheless, research has shown serious doubts exist about the country's readiness for nuclear power.[36]

The power plant also is supposed to promote the local economy of Rooppur, Pabna but this still untested.

The country has had a TRIGA 3 MW research reactor operational since 1986.[37]


The Rooppur pillow scandal involved significant corruption by engineers tasked with building a residential village for plant workers from 2013, with price inflation of domestic products and furnishings (pillows for example priced at US$200, but locally available for US$3), leading to convictions of 13 people in 2019.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cabinet clears draft law to form company to operate Rooppur nuclear power plant". bdnews24.com. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Delay for Bangladesh nuclear plant". World Nuclear News. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Rooppur nuclear deal signed with Russia", The Financial Express, Dhaka, 25 December 2015, archived from the original on 26 December 2015, retrieved 27 December 2015
  4. ^ a b "RPV welded for unit 1 of Bangladesh nuclear power plant". Rosatom. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Nuclear Power in Bangladesh", World Nuclear Association, retrieved 1 January 2016
  6. ^ Mahbub, Sumon (15 January 2013). "N-plant funding deal cut". bdnews24.
  7. ^ "PM seeks more Russian investment in ICT sector". The News Today. 15 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Collaboration in defence, telecom agreed upon". The News Today. 15 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Bangladesh agrees nuclear power deal with Russia". BBC News. 2 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Bangladesh to Get $1Bln Loan for Weapons". The Moscow Times. 16 January 2013.
  11. ^ [1], Voice for Justice World Forum, 30 June 2013
  12. ^ Karmaker, Arun (23 July 2015). "Rooppur Plant reactor technology being changed". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Rooppur nuke plant: $12.65b deal inked with Russia", The Daily Star, 25 December 2015
  14. ^ a b "TIB concerned over Rooppur nuke plant's safety", The Daily Star, 28 December 2015
  15. ^ "Contract signed for preparatory work at Bangladesh's NPP". Nuclear Engineering International. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Rooppur gets design, construction licence". The Daily Star. 5 November 2017. Archived from the original on 4 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  17. ^ "BD To Pour First Concrete For Its Rooppur NPP On November, 30". energybangla.com. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Construction starts on second Bangladeshi reactor". World Nuclear News. World Nuclear Association. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Core catcher installation under way at Rooppur 1". www.world-nuclear-news.org. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  20. ^ Bashar, Reazul. "Rooppur nuclear power plant on 'fast track' despite pandemic". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  21. ^ "Rooppur unit 1 hydraulic tests completed : New Nuclear - World Nuclear News". www.world-nuclear-news.org. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  22. ^ "Questions over Russia-funded nuclear power plant in Bangladesh". 14 April 2022.
  23. ^ "Bangladesh gets first uranium shipment from Russia for its Moscow-built nuclear power plant". Associated Press News. 5 October 2023.
  24. ^ "First delivery of nuclear fuel takes Bangladesh closer to its goal". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 1 October 2023. Archived from the original on 7 January 2024. Retrieved 4 April 2024.
  25. ^ Belgium, Central Office, NucNet a s b l , Brussels (5 October 2023). "Bangladesh / Concreting Complete For Containment Dome At Rooppur-2 VVER Plant". The Independent Global Nuclear News Agency. Retrieved 28 March 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "PM wants Rosatom to build another nuclear power plant at Rooppur". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 2 April 2024. Archived from the original on 3 April 2024. Retrieved 4 April 2024.
  27. ^ "Safety of Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh ensured at all stages: Experts". Nuclear Asia. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 24 Aug 2020.
  28. ^ "VVER-1200 reactors to ensure 5-tier safety at Rooppur nuclear plant". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 24 Aug 2020.
  29. ^ "Five layers of Safety in Nuclear Reactor". Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. Retrieved 24 Aug 2020.
  30. ^ V.G. Asmolov (26 August 2011). "Passive safety in VVERs". JSC Rosenergoatom. Nuclear Engineering International. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  31. ^ GDC (2021-09-13). "Russian Arms Maker Almaz-Antey Supplies Cooling System For Bangladesh And Turkish Nuclear Power Plant". Global Defense Corp. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  32. ^ "IAEA lauds Rooppur plant construction, oversight". 16 December 2022.
  33. ^ "A snapshot on Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project" (PDF).
  34. ^ "ROOPPUR-1". Power Reactor Information System. International Atomic Energy Agency. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  35. ^ "ROOPPUR-2". Power Reactor Information System. International Atomic Energy Agency. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  36. ^ Ishrak Ahmed Siddiky, 2015. The Rooppur nuclear power plant: is Bangladesh really ready for nuclear power?, The Journal of World Energy Law & Business, 8(1), 20–25, https://doi.org/10.1093/jwelb/jwu040
  37. ^ Nuclear Power in Bangladesh