Bangladesh is set to ink a deal with Russia on sending back the spent fuel as waste from the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), officials said.
They said the agreement is expected to be signed in Moscow on August 30 when a Bangladesh delegation, led by Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman, will be visiting there.
The delegation is scheduled to leave Dhaka today (Monday).
The spent fuel is planned to be shipped with sea cargoes to Russia in every 5-7 years since commencement of commercial operation of the plant, the minister told the FE.
The agreement would include the modalities for removal of the spent nuclear fuel from the power plant being set up in Pabna.
Mr Osman said the cost involved with handling and transportation of the wastes of 2,400-MW plants is yet to be fixed, however.
He said the costs for shipping, storage and maintenance to be finalised in a separate deal to be signed before the spent fuel matures for removal from the plant. The costs could be met from the income of the nuclear power company as it would be in operation before then.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs on June 5 approved signing a final agreement on spent fuel management with Russia that involves returning the spent fuel to the supplier.
Bangladesh and Russia earlier on March 15 had approved a draft agreement in this regard.
Officials said pouring of the first concrete, marking the start of power project execution, is expected to take place in September next.
The two-unit plant, the first nuclear plant in Bangladesh, is being built at a cost of Tk 1.13 trillion ($12.65 billion), with Russian financing worth $11.38 billion.
Russian Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs and Bangladesh's state-owned Sonali Bank Ltd. will work as authorised banks for the state loan. Bangladesh government will provide Tk 220.52 billion from its own coffer.
Russia's Atomstroyexport, a Rosatom subsidiary, is the general contractor for the project. Russian contractors are now working on the project site.
Osman said the pre-construction works were nearing completion.
Bangladesh delayed pouring the first concrete for the project by one month to September to facilitate Russian participation in the event.
The expected commissioning schedule of the first unit of nuclear power plant has also been deferred by one year to 2023 from the previous plan of 2022.
Rosatom had previously said it would commission the first VVER unit at Rooppur in 2022 and the second one in 2023.
The main construction is expected to begin in the second half of the year, Rosatom said in a May 20 statement without elaborating.
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