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Nuclear power plant: Bangladesh in search of alternative energy source October 4, 2008

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In the recent visit to China, Chief Adviser to the Caretaker Government has signed an agreement with the Chinese Government for nuclear power plant. Though Daily Star made the information the headline, but it didn’t describe it in details.
Bangladesh has only a nuclear power plant in Rooppur but it could not the see the light of the day since 1961 when the idea was first conceived.[Banglapedia] The inadequacy of the power supply from the indigenous primary sources was felt since then and attempts were made in 1966, 1969, 1972, 1978, 1986 and 1998 to initiate the project. But due to financial and technical constraint, the project couldn’t see the face of the light.

Nuclear energy is now sought in many countries as an alternative source of energy. It is because the conventional sources of energy such as oil,gas, hydroelectricity, coal are exhausting. The alternative sources are nuclear energy and solar energy. Solar energy would be costly to produce in large scale. So nuclear energy is the sought after alternative. In the ongoing presidential race in USA Obama also is advocating for developing alternative energies.

USA is now producing 20% its electricity from nuclear energy.There was 109 power reactor in USA and about 400 in the world. By now, the number is increased many fold. Among our small neighbors, Malaysia and Vietnam started developing their power plant. Within years, they will go into generating nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy is virtually inexhaustible and will be available for hundreds of years. A large plant can generate millions Kw of energy. A major advantage of nuclear energy that it has no carbon emission.

Why Bangladesh couldn’t even start a plant within so many years of independence? Is it mere the lack foresight of the political leaders or commitment on the part of the governments or lack of sponsor to bear the huge cost of the plant or it is part of national and international conspiracy to keep the country always in energy deficit and always in poverty?

An ordinary citizen

Post script:

Dr. Anwar Hussain, former Chairman of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission writes in Daily Star on the ‘Urgency of the nuclear power in Bangladesh’[DS]

A CPD discussion meeting urged the Govertment to go immediately for nuclear power plant[DS]


1. Shujaat - November 27, 2008

Hi readers,
I think it is because of lack of foresight, mass-corruption and also American huge bribery to elected high officials and Government high officials. So that the country keeps on depend on others developed country the country can not be independent or self dependent with its sovereignty and being used under the name of Global Economy which perhaps most benefit goes to G-8 countries.

2. Prawneaserm - May 21, 2009

Engaging writing / i will visit again,,

3. Mir Monaz Haque - June 1, 2009

Bangladesh and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in peaceful use of nuclear energy on 13th May. Bangladesh government will install 600MW to 1,000MW electricity generation capacity nuclear power plant within four to five years at Rooppur in Pabna as a part of peaceful nuclear deal (!)

We did not forget the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. It was a nuclear reactor accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. It’s a difficult choice for Bangladesh. Nuclear power is, inspite of cost and risk, the ‘easiest’ solution. Within a predictable number of years, for a predictably high cost, with a nuclear power station we can get a reliable source of electricity. I think this government, or any other government, simply has no choice – given our ‘mentality’.

According to a statistic of University scolers, Bangladesh has only 4 to 5 University professor of the subject Nuclear Physics. They are respectable teachers and has got theoritical knowledge. None of them are experts of Nuclear Power Plan. Now the question is who is going to take the responsibility?

The main problem with conventional power stations, based on my own enquiries is simply that we can have the equipment, technology, knowledge, plant and distribution networks – but we can’t get the power to run the power station in the first place. That is to say – our problem is first of all with the energy inputs. Gas sources are underdeveloped, coal is an unknown.

Maybe we have to search for alternative energy, such as Solar Energy, Wind Energy and Bio Gas to solve the problem.

Mir Monaz Haque, (Engineering Physics, Berlin)

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