Progress in Bangladesh's Nuclear Power Programme

TRIGA Research Reactor at AERE, Bangladesh

18 April 2012 - Following an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission to Bangladesh last November, relations between Bangladesh and the IAEA were further strengthened when IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy Alexander Bychkov recently visited the country.

In discussions with high government officials including Mr Architect Yeafesh Osman, Minister of Science and Technology (MOST), Mr Dilip Kumar Basak, Additional Secretary, MOST, and Mr A.S.M Firoz, Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, recent developments in the country's Rooppur nuclear power plant project were addressed.

"I was pleased to hear that the INIR mission team concluded that Bangladesh has achieved notable progress in its nuclear infrastructure development", said Mr Bychkov in an address at the "But the Agency also learned through this mission - namely that the Milestones approach is flexible and can take into account the national circumstances of the Bangladesh programme. I would like to thank Bangladesh for participating in this INIR and sharing with us your experiences", Mr Bychkov emphasized.

He also briefed the government officials about the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety and stressed that the plan "will strengthen the global nuclear safety framework and requires the commitment of all stakeholders. This is particularly important for nuclear safety in all States that already have or that are embarking on a nuclear power programme, such as Bangladesh".

Appreciating IAEA assistance given to date in building their new nuclear power programme, Bangladesh has requested a so-called "soft coordination meeting" for the Rooppur nuclear power plant project.

"The concept of ‘soft coordination’ has been developed to coordinate different sources of international assistance, for example, IAEA technical cooperation, government-to-government bilateral agreements, international consultants and others", explained Ms Anne Starz, Group Leader of INIG. "The Agency can play a role in facilitating exchange of information and coordination while respecting the bilateral or commercial relationships among the parties", Ms Starz added.

At the beginning, soft coordination will include human resource development, stakeholder involvement, management/project management, electrical grid, regulatory infrastructure and financing. Later stages may expand to include additional partners.

Please contact Integrated Nuclear Power Infrastructure Group - Contact Point if you have any questions.