Russia has delivered the first nuclear fuel shipment to Bangladesh to power up the country’s first nuclear reactor.
On Oct. 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin met via video conference with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to announce the nuclear fuel delivery at the Rooppur NPP construction site in Ishwardi, Pabna.
The Rooppur NPP was built by the State Corporation Rosatom and consists of generation III+ reactors with a total capacity of 2,400 megawatts. The project is worth USD$12.5 billion and is 90 per cent financed through a Russian loan repayable within 28 years with a 10-year grace period.
The first unit of the plant was set to start operation in July next year but due to pandemic restrictions and sanctions on Moscow, it was delayed. Electricity in Bangladesh is dependent on imported gas, which has risen sharply in price since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In order to build nuclear fuel assemblies, uranium is pressurized and “ceramized” at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Celsius into a pellet that weighs around 45 grams. The pellets last for around 1460 days and generate 45,000 kilowatts per hour.
Congratulations to Bangladesh on the first fuel ceremony at Rooppur NPP, their inaugural nuclear facility. 🇧🇩 stands as a success story for newcomer countries in nuclear power development, advancing its program under @IAEAorg’s guidance. pic.twitter.com/XhxpkipVgD
— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) October 5, 2023
The ceremony was attended by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi; Director General of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev; Minister of Science and Technology of Bangladesh Yeafesh Osman; Rooppur Project Director Shawkat Akbar and the CEO of a general contractor building the Rooppur NPP Andrei Petrov.
“The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant was built and prepared for launch in strict compliance with the IAEA rules and recommendations,” Putin said in a statement.
“I think Mr. Grossi, who is taking part in our ceremony, can confirm that the physical protection system for the plant is advanced and reliable. We would like to thank the IAEA for their assistance in this project.”
Nuclear industry careers offered to Bangladeshis by Russian universities
During the ceremony, Putin delivered a speech that highlighted the countries’ political relations since the 70s when the Soviet Union supported its independence.
Prime Minister Hasina also expressed gratitude to Russia “which provided much-needed assistance in our struggle for independence and in the post-war reconstruction of our ruined country, and which also gave us a helping hand in the implementation of the much-anticipated Rooppur NPP project,” she said.
More than 80 Bangladeshi students seeking careers in the industry have already completed their studies at Russian universities, according to Putin’s statement.
“In fact, we are not simply building a nuclear power plant but creating an entire nuclear sector, a peaceful atom industry in Bangladesh, and we are doing it together with you, dear friends.”
He added that around 1,000 Bangladeshi citizens already completed their training to work in the industry.
Athabasca Basin holds some of the richest and highest-grade uranium deposits worldwide
As the primary fuel for nuclear reactors, uranium’s immense energy potential makes it a crucial resource for addressing the world’s increasing demand for electricity while reducing carbon emissions. Its unique properties, including high energy density and controllable nuclear fission reactions, position uranium as an essential element in the pursuit of sustainable, low-carbon energy solutions.
As a result, the demand for uranium remains robust, as nations seek to diversify their energy portfolios and transition to cleaner sources, driving its continued status as a prized and strategic commodity.
The Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan is famous for its unconformity-type uranium deposits. The uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin are some of the richest and highest-grade uranium deposits in the world.
ATHA Energy Corp. (CSE: SASK) (FRA: X5U) (OTCQB: SASKF) recently completed the largest multi-platform electromagnetic survey in the Athabasca Basin in order to test its land package, which is the largest reported land package in the region.
The survey identified three areas within the East Vista property with structural complexity coincident with conductivity. The East Vista project is situated within a 30-kilometre radius of Cameco Corporation‘s (TSX: CCO) Key Lake mine.
Of the over one billion pounds of uranium produced or in reserve within the Athabasca Basin, the largest share hails from its eastern side. The East Rim boasts robust infrastructure, well-equipped to facilitate both mining and exploration endeavours.
The survey was also enhanced by ATHA’s 10 per cent carried interests on claims held by NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX: NXE) and IsoEnergy Ltd. (TSXV: ISO).
ATHA Energy Corp. is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage