India on Wednesday apprised the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the civil nuclear cooperation agreements it has signed with Bangladesh, Japan and Vietnam and informed the agency about its intention to be part of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant being made in Bangladesh by Russia. This will be the first nuclear power plant India will be making in a third country under the Indo-Russia collaboration.
Speaking at the 61st IAEA General Conference in Vienna, India's Chairman for Atomic Commission Dr Sekhar Basu, also informed IAEA about the Indian Government's decision to construct ten Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors, besides increasing the use of nuclear technology in cancer care and pursuing a research on Dark Matter in one of India's underground uranium mines.
Interestingly, Bangladesh in its speech at the IAEA did not mention India's involvement and said that it has started the construction of its first Nuclear power Plant (NPP) under bilateral cooperation arrangements with Russia. Bangladesh is planning to construct another NPP in the southern part of the country, its representative said.
However, sources in Russia made it clear to The Pioneer that Rosatom, which is making the Rooppur NPP, is going to involve Indian experts in the project. According to Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev, the idea of involving Indian experts in the project came up from the Indian side at the 2016 BRICS Summit held in Goa to which the Bangladeshi side had no objections. Likhachev in a statement said that Rosatom is considering engaging Indian nuclear technology experts in training of staff and for technical consultations for the Rooppur project.
The Indo-Bangla civil nuclear agreement signed in April has an arrangement for supply and manufacture of equipment, material, exchange of technical cooperation, training of personnel by Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).and sharing of information on nuclear safety and radiation protection for the atomic power plants in Bangladesh.
At the IAEA, Basu also apprised the agency about its Civil Nuclear Cooperation agreement with Japan and Vietnam. He mentioned government's decision to construct 10 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors and construction of two more reactors at Kudankulam. India has 21 reactors under construction and 22 reactors in operation which together will increase the electricity generation capacity to 22,000 mega watt by the next decade.