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Cabinet okays draft of Nuclear Power Plant Law


The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

After the meeting, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed reporters.

He said the Nuclear Power Plant Project would be implemented with the financial and technical support of Russian Federation to generate 1000 megawatts of electricity initially.

The initial duration of the project is March 2013 to June 2017 and it would go into operation by 2021 involving an expenditure of Tk 5087.81 crore with a project aid of Tk 4000 crore from the Russian government.

Bhuiyan said it is an international practice that there should be a strong legal framework to implement such a high-tech, complicated and capital-intensive project and also formation of a company to run the project.

“Taking this into consideration the cabinet approved the law,” he said.

Earlier, the Bangladesh government signed two agreements with Russian Federation to this end. The agreements are: cooperation agreement and loan agreement.

The project would be implemented following the guidelines of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Usually two parties sign any agreement but in this case there are three sides as the IAEA would monitor the project to ensure security and safety of power plant.

Under the deal, the Russian state-owned nuclear company will look into the aspects of security and safety of the power plant, while the nuclear waste would be taken back to Russia at their own cost.

The cabinet also gave nod to the proposal of formation of “The Nuclear Power Company of Bangladesh” for the construction and operation of the Nuclear Power Plant as constitution of any company under the government management needs cabinet approval.

The Science and Technology Ministry prepared the draft of the proposal following the guidelines of IAEA and consultation with local and internal experts.

Under the proposal, there would be a separate company for operating the power plant. It also clarifies the role and regulatory authority of the government and the role of the vendor country. Under the proposal, the implementing country has to identify two organizations — owner organisation and operating organisation.

For the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission would act as the owner organisation, while the Nuclear Energy Company of Bangladesh would be the operating organisation.

The company would have an authorised capital of Tk 1 crore divided into 1,000 shares to be run by a Board. On completion of the project, all the assets and liabilities of the project would be transferred to the company while the last project director of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project would become the first managing director of the company.

The cabinet endorsed the draft of an agreement on coastal shipping with India to facilitate trade and transportation of goods through water routes of the two countries.

The draft of “The Agreement on Coastal Shipping between the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of the Republic of India” was ratified on April 20. Bangladesh’s Shipping Secretary Shafique Alam Mehdi and India’s Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar ratified the draft deal in New Delhi on April 20.

The cabinet secretary said it is expected that the final agreement will be signed during the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh.

When the deal comes into effect, he said, both time and money will be saved in transportation of goods between the two countries. A Bangladesh cargo ship would need four to five days to reach India instead of two to three weeks now, he said.

“Once the agreement is signed, both the countries would be benefited while there will be increased economic cooperation and connectivity,” he added.

At present, for transporting goods between Bangladesh and India, the consignment has to be sent to Colombo or Singapore first. It is then shipped to any port in India or Bangladesh.

The cabinet secretary said that under the draft agreement, Bangladeshi sea and river-going cargo ships would be able to go to India along the coastal line vice versa the Indian sea and river-borne cargo ships would also be able to come to Bangladesh.

Bhuiyan said that under the draft agreement, the cargo ships of both the countries would get equal opportunities like access to water and ports, embarkation and disembarkation.

The war ships, research vessels, scientific or oceanographic research vehicles, and paramilitary forces’ movement vessels would remain outside the purview of the agreement.

The Directorate General of Shipping of India and the Department of Shipping of Bangladesh would play a key role in implementing the agreement.

The cabinet secretary said that for implementing the agreement, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is being framed and it would be finalized soon.

The tenure of the agreement would be five years and it would have an auto renewal provision, he said, adding that any party could terminate the agreement giving a notice of six months.

“Besides, there will be a joint shipping committee to review the agreement from time to time,” he said.

The cabinet secretary said the meeting was apprised of the participation of the Fisheries and Livestock Minister in the Strategy Meeting for Global Action Network for Blue Growth and Food Security held in the Caribbean island of Granada on March 11-13.

Ministers and state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while
secretaries concerned were present.



Category/ies:Grenada News, News, Nuclear Tech.
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