The International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday lauded Bangladesh for the political support, public appreciation and international cooperation for nuclear power that is proving to be a productive atmosphere for progress in the country's first nuclear power plant.
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog group said the country had made “significant progress” in the construction of its first nuclear plant in part due to its ability to cooperate with Russia. Combined with political and public support, international relations were also strong indicators allowing for project advancements, the IAEA said.
Progress was underscored during a courtesy call made by IAEA Director General Yukia Amano on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed. While Amano praised the progress made towards developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes, Wazed spoke of the need for increased electricity generation through expansion of the country's nuclear power program.
Amano also met with Yeafesh Osman and Aul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Bangladesh's Minister for Science and Technology and the country's Foreign Minister.
During his visit, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali presented Amano with a certification of acceptance of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
Amano toured the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant site, 200 kilometers northwest of Dhaka, a 2.5 Gwe nuclear power plant with construction led by Russian State nuclear power giant Rosatom. The first unit at the plant is expected to be commissioned in 2023.
Amano also reviewed the country's nascent regulatory process for nuclear safety. Much of the development of laws and regulations related to nuclear power in Bangladesh were created with help from the IAEA.Bangladesh targeted nuclear power as a portion of its generation mix in 2000. During the visit, Amano was presented with an honorary degree at the University of Dhaka: a Doctor of Laws, which was presented at a special convocation presided over by the President of Bangladesh and the Chancellor of the University Abdul Hamid “recognizing Mr. Amano's contribution to promote the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear technologies,” the IAEA said.
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