The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission has signed an agreement with Russia to start work on the first phase of the 2000MW Rooppur nuclear power plant.
The agreement, signed 2 October, covers work on the design stage of the project and is expected to take two years to complete. The work will form the basis for obtaining the necessary licences for construction, Rosatom said.
A ceremony also took place to mark the laying of the foundation stone for the project. It was attended by Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and Rosatom director general Sergei Kiriyenko.
The Rooppur nuclear plant, to be located around 160km from Dhaka, is expected to provide 10-15% of Bangladesh's electricity requirements when it starts up in 2020.
The reactor design is expected to be a modified version of the AES-2006 VVER reactor.
Site works at Rooppur are planned to begin in early 2014, with construction starting in 2015. Rosatom is to operate the plant and will supply the nuclear fuel.
Photo: The two-unit Rooppur nuclear plant (Source: Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)