The latest on the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project
Reportedly, the first unit (Unit 1) of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is expected to come into operation in the last quarter of 2024.
This comes approximately 5 months since workers finished concreting the containment building for the unit in March 2023. According to Rosatom, the structure took 110 days to complete, 45 days ahead of schedule. Noteworthy, the containment acts as a hermetic protection system, designed to withstand high external and internal pressures and protect against radiation release.
A year earlier, in March 2022, the welding of the main circulation pipeline connecting the reactor pressure vessel with the steam generators and the reactor coolant pumps was also completed.
Meanwhile, officials of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDP) and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) are in discussion to settle on the power tariff of the plant, when it begins operations in 2024.
Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project Overview
Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is the first of its kind in Bangladesh. It is being constructed at Rooppur/Ruppur, adjoining Paksey, in the Ishwardi Upazila of Pabna District, on the bank of the Padma River.
The approximately US$ 12.65bn project is being implemented by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC). BAEC is the national authority for the acquisition, development, and application of Nuclear Science and Technology. It is working acting under the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of Bangladesh.
Features of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant
Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will be equipped with two VVER-1200 water-cooled, water-moderated power reactors of the AES-2006 / V-392M design. Each of the reactor units comprises a reactor and four circulation loops. On the other hand, each of the loops includes circulation pipelines, a reactor coolant pump, and a horizontal steam generator.
The nominal thermal power of the reactor is 3.2GW, while the maximum utilization factor is more than 90%. The time of fuel operation cycle in the reactor is between 48 and 60 months, and the main equipment of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will have a service life of more than 60 years, without the need for replacement.
In addition to the reactors, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will be equipped with meteorological and water gauge stations, permanent seismic stations, as well as storage and laboratory facilities.
Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project Team and Completion
Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) through its subsidiary JSC Atomstroyexport, will install the rectors. Other companies working on the project include Inter RAO Engineering. The latter is carrying out pit excavation of the main buildings and the construction and erection of facilities for the plant.
Goldenberg Group of Companies is working on the civil construction and pipe laying works while Orgenergostroy carried out a comprehensive engineering survey for the plant and constructed the pilot bases and residential camps for the contractors. TVEL Fuel Company on the other hand is serving as the single-source supplier of nuclear fuel for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
The power plant is expected to be partially operational in 2023 following the commissioning of Rooppur Unit-1, and fully operational in 2024 after the delivery of the second unit.
Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project Timeline
Ground preparation work, which included excavation works, the pit water removal system, development of pit for units one and two, soil stabilization works and foundations for both reactor units, as well as the construction of amenities and office buildings, roads, security fences, and storage facilities commenced.
In November, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission received, from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority, the design and construction license of Unit 1, paving the way for the nuclear island’s first concrete pour.
In July, the first concrete was poured for unit 2, and 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”.
In December, construction personnel of TrestRosSEM LLC completed the reactor pit construction from the top of the cantilever-truss to the bottom of the floor at elevation +26.300 meters at power unit No.1.
In July, the dome of the inner containment shell of Unit 1 was installed. Reportedly, the metal structure has a diameter of 44 meters and a weight of 185 tonnes.
The operation was carried out by Trust RosSEM, using a Liebherr heavy crawler crane that has a lifting capacity of 1350 tonnes. The day before lifting, a special mounting traverse of 15 steel cables was installed.
The reactor pressure vessel installation work in the first reactor building began in September same year. With this, the physical work on the first unit, which has 1,200 megawatts of power generation capacity, will be completed.
All four steam generators were installed at the design position at Unit-1 of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP. The installation works of the steam generators at their regular position in the reactor compartment were carried out by Specialists of Energospecmontazh, a subcontracting organization of the Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division, in accordance with the approved schedule.
Installation of steam generators in the design position paves the way for the start of welding of the main circulation pipeline, which will connect the equipment of the first circuit: reactor, steam generators, and main circulation pumps.
Late November 2021
The construction of a physical protection system (PPS) for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna began. The PPS will reportedly ensure a conducive environment for safe and secure power generation for the next 100 years.
JSC Eleron is undertaking the US$ 287.49M project in line with the agreement signed back in May 2020 with the Nuclear Security and Physical Protection System Cell (NSPC) of the Bangladesh Army. JSC Eleron will be supervised by the Ministry of Science and Technology and managed by the NSPC of the Bangladesh Army.
Welding of the primary circuit had started at the first unit of Bangladesh’s nuclear power facility.
The welding was termed “one of the key events in constructing a nuclear power plant” by Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear company, which is constructing the plant.
The primary circuit joins the central units of Rooppur 1, a VVER-1200 pressurized water reactor. It ensures that the heat produced by the reactor core is continuously carried to the steam generators, through the main circulation pumps.
Rooppur 1’s reactor pressure vessel and four steam generators were installed in their position earlier in October and November, respectively.
Late December 2021
Rosatom, announced the completion of the concreting works of the fifth tier of the inner containment of the reactor building at Unit 2, after 23 hours of uninterrupted efforts by the specialists of Trest Rossem to cast 850m3 of self-compacting concrete mix.
“Concreting of the fifth tier of the inner containment from elevation +38.180 to elevation+43.400 was completed ahead of schedule, ” said Alexey Deriy, the Vice President of ASE and Director of Rooppur NPP Construction Project, adding, “This is a testament of the high professional level of the specialists of Trest Rossem in Bangladesh and a good example of well-coordinated work of the entire team at the construction site.”
This milestone marks the completion of the construction of the cylindrical part of the inner containment- one of the main components of the NPP reactor safety system that prevents the release of radioactive substances into the environment.
The dome of the power unit, the parts of which are currently being manufactured, will be installed on it in the next phase. It is planned to complete the erection of steel structures of the inner containment dome in the first half of next year (2022).
Major concrete work on an auxiliary reactor building at Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant completed
The major concrete work on an auxiliary reactor building at Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, popularly known as Rooppur NPP, has been completed approximately 8 months ahead of schedule owing mainly to logistic process optimization that enabled workplaces to be supplied with the necessary resources such as supplies and tools on time.
The shorter construction period allowed for cost savings, first and foremost by saving the semi-fixed portion of overhead costs and making a significant number of highly qualified labour resources available earlier than planned, who had previously been engaged in the achievement of other production tasks.
The average volume of concrete laid at the structure, which is part of the ‘Nuclear Island,’ intended to hold process instrumentation and control gear, by NIKIMT-Atomstroy professionals was 1,600 m3 per month, rather than the projected 1,000 m3.
Alexey Deriy, Vice President of ASE and Project Director for Rooppur NPP Construction, commented on the development, saying, “the pace of work accomplished by the specialists of NIKIMT-Atomstroy, while fulfilling all the stringent quality standards, demonstrates the highest potentials of Rooppur NPP construction workers.”
With such high levels of professionalism among our staff, we can confidently state that the construction of Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant will be completed on time, despite a number of hurdles such as the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging international situation.”
Rooppur’s NPP outer containment to be installed in October this year
The pre-assembly works of Unit 1’s outer containment dome are underway at the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant construction site in the Republic of Bangladesh, with the dome expected to be installed in October 2022. As per the recent reports, the assembling and subsequent erection work are being undertaken by experts from Trest RosSEM, a subsidiary of Russia’s Rosatom Engineering Division.
It is said that the outer containment has two parts, which construction workers dubbed the lower and upper parts of the outer containment dome, the skirt and headpiece, respectively. The entire dome will be assembled on the ground, then the lower parts will be installed. The upper part will be installed after it has been aligned and fixed. The outer containment dome will be concreted when both parts have been installed.
Lasting for a period of 1,151 days, the preparation, assembling, installation, and concreting of the outer containment dome is one of the longest stages in the construction of a power unit. It is said that the project’s target duration of work will be trimmed to merely 584 days.
Alexey Deriy, Vice President of ASE JSC and Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Construction Project Director, stated that the final stage of civil work in the power unit’s construction is the installation of the outer containment dome. He added that it allows for the construction of passive heat removal system structures and equipment, and it is a significant step toward the start of the physical start-up.