Cabinet approves nuclear power plant bill

Cabinet approves nuclear power plant bill

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The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the ‘Nuclear Power Plant Bill, 2015′ subject to the vetting of the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, aiming to construct the country’s first Nuclear Power Plant at Rooppur in Pabna.
The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.The Cabinet also gave nod to the proposal of formation of ‘Nuclear Power Company of Bangladesh’ for the operation of the Nuclear Power Plant as formation of any company under government management needs a Cabinet nod.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the Nuclear Power Plant project would be implemented with financial and technical support from the Russian government to generate 1000 megawatt of electricity initially.
The initial duration of the project is from March 2013 to June 2017 and it would go into operation by 2021 involving Tk 5087.81 crore with project aid of Tk 4000 crore from the Russian government.
He said it is an international practice that there should be a firm legal framework to implement such a high-tech, complicated and capital intensive project and also formation of a company to run the project. Taking this into consideration, the Cabinet approved the Bill.
Earlier, the Bangladesh government signed two agreements with Russian Federation to this end. The two deals are cooperation agreement and loan agreement.
The project would be implemented following the guidelines of International Atomic Energy Agency- IAEA. Usually two parties sign an agreement but in this case there are three sides as the IAEA would monitor the project to ensure security and safety of the power plant.
Under the deal, Russian state-owned Nuclear Company will look into the aspects of security and safety of the power plant while the nuclear wastes would be taken to Russia at their own cost.
The Science and Technology Ministry prepared the draft of ‘Nuclear Power Company of Bangladesh’ proposal following the guidelines of the IAEA and in consultation with local and internal experts.
Under the proposal, there would be a separate company for operating the power plant. It also clarifies the role and regulatory authority of the government, role of the vendor country. Under the proposal, the implementing country has to identify two organisations — owner organisation and operating organisation.
For the Rooppur Nuclear power Plant, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission would act as the owner organisation while the Nuclear Power Company of Bangladesh as the operating organisation.
The company would authorise a capital of Tk 1 crore divided into 1000 shares to be run by a Board. On completion of the project, all the assets and liabilities of the project would be transferred to the company while the last project director of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project would become the first managing director of the company.
Ministers and State Ministers attended the meeting while secretaries concerned were present. – UNB

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