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Viability of Nuclear Power Generation In Bangladesh

Constant power crisis is one of the main problems for Bangladesh to attain the projected

goals of its socio-economic development. But due to limited indigenous energy sources it is not

possible to increase electricity production. The Government is trying to improve the current

power shortage but have not been successful in this endeavor as we are also facing a shortage in

the supply of natural gas which is the key element in fuelling our power stations. Moreover, a lot

of the power from the cities is being diverted to the villages where the rice plantations need

constant irrigation by means of water pumps. This is also very important if we are to have some

semblance of food security. This is why the Government of Bangladesh are seriously considering

the issue of procuring civilian nuclear technology in order to provide the nation with a nuclear

power generation plant for consistent electricity supply. To strive to fulfill this dream of a

nuclear power plant, over the last four decades our scientists in the nuclear energy field have

been working to overcome the crisis of electricity. But limited strategic resources and financial

constraints are the major obstacles in the way of nuclear energy for Bangladesh. However, the

overall power crisis situation and the constant efforts of the scientist has compelled the

Government of Bangladesh to take a decision of establishing a nuclear power plant in the

country. A feasibility study has been made which has clearly identified the nuclear option as

appropriate and viable for the country. A site at Rooppur has already been selected for the

establishment of first nuclear power plant.

Nuclear power is produced by controlled (i.e., non-explosive) nuclear reactions inside a

reactor in a process called fission. Commercial and utility plants currently use nuclear fission
reactions to heat water to produce steam, which is then used to generate electricity. The

Government of Bangladesh wants to set up a nuclear power plant to meet Bangladesh’s

escalating demand for electricity to maintain her Socio-Economic Development. The

Government of Bangladesh has already got the permission from IAEA, and has acquired land in

Rooppur and hopes to finish construction on the first unit by 2015. Bangladesh Atomic Energy

Commission’s activities are now limited in research activities. If we can complete this project it

will be possible for us to overcome our constant power crisis (also known popularly as “load

shedding”). 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. In spite of many of the limitations scientists of

BAEC are working hard for the socio-economic development of the country on the basis of the

peaceful use of atomic energy. We need to adopt a power generating technology that is

economically feasible and environmentally sound. Bangladesh is not at the leading edge of

technological research. This situation gives us an opportunity to learn from other people's

mistakes. Bangladesh needs to develop an action plan for nuclear energy production,

transmission, and supply. With the current trend of globalization of trade and technology

transfer, it will be possible to adopt nuclear technologies that are both efficient and

environmentally feasible for Bangladesh in the 21st century. (Source: The Energy challenge, Md.

Khalequzzaman 2009)

The main reason for our current electricity deprivation is a dearth in the inputs of the

existing power plants. What we cannot provide is uninterrupted supply of natural gas, petroleum

to our oil and gas powered power stations. This is why even though we have the capacity to
almost catch up with demand and supply of electricity we simply cannot because of the lack of

energy inputs. So I believe that any intelligent person should be of the opinion that the

government of Bangladesh should actively pursue the strategic resource which we do have in

plenty and devise a course of action to harness this resource, Coal, to provide immediate respite

from load shedding. Therefore, nuclear power is so attractive to the common people because

only a small amount of uranium is needed to keep a nuclear power plant online. And the output

of such a small input is enormous relative to oil or gas. That is why I sincerely think that we

should start the procedure for implementation of civilian nuclear energy now as the time-frame

to complete such a prospect is huge. But at the same time we should be actively pursuing other

venues like coal of which Bangladesh has a huge reserve so that we can provide some relief to

the current power crisis.

Reference List

1. http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/WebHome

2. http://www.benefitsofnuclearpower.com/

3. Bangladesh Atomic energy commission homepage, Retrieved 2nd October 2009 from

http://www.baec.org.bd/

4. Du Guodong (Ed.) (2007) Bangladesh eyeing nuclear power plant by 2015, Retrieved 2nd

October 2009 from http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-12/25/content_7309462.htm


5. Nazrul Islam (2009) Dhaka, Moscow signs deal on peaceful use of nuclear energy,

Retrieved 2nd October from http://www.newagebd.com/2009/may/14/front.html#4

6. Dr. Zakia Begum (2008), Status of Nuclear Activities of Bangladesh Atomic Energy

Commisssion. Retrieved 2nd October 2009

7. Energy Story, Chapter 13: Nuclear Energy- Fission and Fusion, Retrieved 2 October

2009 from http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter13.html

8. Engr. Khondkar Abdus Saleque (2009) Bangladesh must go nuclear to meet energy

demand, retrieved 2nd October from http://www.energybangla.com/index.php?

mod=article&cat=SomethingtoSay&article=1680

9. K M Rezaur Rahman, 2009 (09-11 June) Present status of Nuclear Power program in

Bangladesh

10. Md. Khalequzzaman, The Energy challenge for 21st century Bangladesh, Retrieved 25th

November from http://www.eb2000.org/short_note_3.htm

11. Md. Khalequzzaman, Assistant Professor of Geology, Georgia Southwestern State

University, Americus, GA 31709, USA

12. Nuclear plants and instrumentation-plants with greater efficiency and output. Retrieved

2nd october, from http://www.gepower.com/prod_serv/products/nuclear/en/index.htm