The ‘Physical Protection System (PPS)’ of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project will be tabled at Tuesday’s Ecnec meeting
The Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed another project involving Tk3,449 crore to provide physical security for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
The project proposal will be placed before the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for approval at its meeting on Tuesday.
Last week, Ecnec approved a project involving Tk1,711 crore to provide nuclear security for the power plant. The total expenditure on security at the country's first ever nuclear power plant will reach Tk5,160 crore once the new project gets the go-ahead.
The Ecnec meeting will be held at the NEC conference room in Dhaka with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The 'Physical Protection System (PPS) of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant' project will be tabled at the meeting without prior notice.
The Planning Commission arranged a meeting of the project evaluation committee on Sunday to evaluate the proposal of the science and technology ministry.
The evaluation committee recommended that the science and technology ministry reduce the size and cost of land acquisition, abolish the allowance for project personnel which is equivalent to 30 percent of their basic salary, and cut expenses in some other areas.
As per the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the ministry has reduced the area of land that was to be acquired for the project from 400 acres to 300 acres, and has brought down the estimated cost of land acquisition from Tk1,104 crore to Tk550 crore.
The ministry has also reduced the estimated cost of buying a laptop from the previously estimated Tk1 lakh to Tk80,000.
The proposed project aims to create a safe and secure environment conducive for the production of power from the nuclear plant, to mitigate design-related and other threats, and to manage sensitive information on computers and provide cyber security.
The major activities to be implemented under the project include acquisition and development of land, procurement of technical equipment, and construction for the physical protection system.
According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, the government decided to provide security of the nuclear power plant by engaging the Bangladesh Army. The army has created a new cell for this purpose.
The Bangladesh government has signed a protocol with the Russian Federation and has proposed that the project follow the protocol.
The proposal says that the physical security project will start in October this year and will be completed in March 2023.
"The project will provide security for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and will help increase production of power. This is why the Planning Commission has recommended that Ecnec should approve this project," said Abul Kalam Azad, member of Socio-Economic Division of the Planning Commission.
Russia is funding the first ever nuclear plant in Bangladesh. The total estimated cost of the mega-project is Tk1,13,093 crore which is scheduled to be completed in 2025.
India will provide Bangladesh with training schemes to develop skilled manpower for the construction and maintenance aspects of the project.