TIB concerned at Rooppur nuke plant transparency

TIB concerned at Rooppur nuke plant transparency

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Dhaka – Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed concern over the reliability and security of the proposed Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and demanded full public disclosure of information related to the project to ensure transparency in the plant construction.
Bangladesh’s signing of an agreement with Russia on Friday last to build the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna may be viewed as a positive and bold step by the government for moving to a relatively low-carbon source of energy, says a statement posted on TIB website.However, the anti-graft body said any concrete development in this regard must take into consideration the very high risks and high costs involved in nuclear energy for a country like Bangladesh that has to depend on the foreign suppliers for necessary raw materials, skills and expertise.
In the statement, TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said: “We’re concerned particularly for the fact that Russian nuclear reactors are widely considered even by reputed Russian environmentalists as unsafe and unreliable.”
Atomsroyexport, owned jointly by Rosatom and Gazprombank, both Russian state-owned institutions, is not known to be credible enough to ensure suppliers’ liability in case of accident, he added.
Iftekharuzzaman called upon the government and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) for transparency in the content and process of the agreement.
He also demanded disclosure of public knowledge and information like specific measures provided in the agreement for ensuring liability of suppliers in case of any negative environmental impact as well as risks and accidents with potentials of threats to safety and security of life and living; provisions for financing of this highly expensive project including terms and conditions for funding; and statement of potential benefits and burdens for the people compared to those of the suppliers.
The TIB chief observed that Bangladeshi media in September reported that the total cost of two units of the power plant would be around US$ 4 billion and this has shot up to nearly US$ 13 billion in the last three months.
This variation in the cost of the project can potentially raise questions, he said adding that since the people of Bangladesh will eventually bear the burden of this project, they have a right to know all relevant information in this regard.- Agencies

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