The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) has taken an initiative to conduct a survey in eight char areas of southern region to select one or two suitable sites to set up the country's second nuclear power plant, aiming to meet the future demand of huge electricity.
The BAEC has formulated a draft project to this end and sent it to the Planning Commission, an official at the Commission told UNB.
It will conduct the survey at eight spots of the coastal belt. The primarily selected sites are Pakkhiar Char in Patuakhali, Khottar Char, Nidrar Char, Tenrar Char and Alisar Mor in Barguna, Char Halia in Khulna, Boira Char in Noakhali and Muhurir Char in Feni.
The study will cover a demographic survey over a 5-km diameter, seismic stability, geological location, power infrastructure and communication system.
On competition of the proposed project titled 'Survey on selecting potential place for a nuclear power plant in southern region of Bangladesh', one or two sites will be finally selected based on the study results, the Planning Commission official said.
Under the proposed project, a site survey and site selection activities will initially be conducted in line with the internationally applicable guidelines as well as legal and technical aspects at national level to set up the nuclear power plant.
The survey project has been included in the new Annual Development Programme (ADP) as an unapproved and unallocated project. "It might soon be placed at Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting for its approval," the official added.
The official also informed that the survey project will be implemented with government funds.
Talking to UNB, another official at the BAEC said necessary data and information will have to be collected from various national and international organisations to conduct the site survey-level activities.
In this regard, data and information will be collected from various autonomous and specialized organisations of the country like Survey of Bangladesh, Geological Survey of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), Geological Survey of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Bangladesh Power Development Board, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh. "It might also be necessary to take data and information from various related organisations of neighbouring India."
The government has formulated a power generation master plan in line with its mid-term and long-term economic development visions.
According to the master plan, the government wants to generate 60,000MW of power by 2041 of which 70 percent may come from coal power and 30 percent from nuke power, renewable energy and cross border import.
The first nuke power plant in Rooppur is expected to come into operation by 2024-25 to generate 1100-1200 MW of power from each of the plant's two units.
There is also a plan to set up four more nuke power units in the country in two phases -- two more units by 2030-2031 and another two units by 2040-2041 -- and thus a create a scope for generating at least 4000 MW of additional power through these units.
Although the initiative for constructing a nuke power plant was first taken in 1961, it did not see the light for a long time. The present government revamped the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project in 2010.