The nuclear fuel or uranium to be burnt by the twin reactors of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will cost around US$ 1.4 billion in their economic life of around 50 years.
Officials of the country’s first ever nuclear power plant made the calculation on the basis the government’s decision on Wednesday to procure per unit of fuel at US$ 62 million, equivalent to Tk 523.90 crore (US$1= Tk 84.50).
A meeting of the cabinet committee on government purchases, chaired by agricultural minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque in absence of the ailing finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, approved the procurement proposal from the ministry of science and technology at the secretariat in the afternoon.
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission chairman Mahbubul Hoq said the under construction reactors of the Roopur power plant would require refuelling of nuclear fuel, also known as uranium, once every 18 months.
The amount of refuelling has been calculated at one third of per unit nuclear fuel, a price which was approved by the government’s purchase committee, he said.
In that case, per unit nuclear fuel would be burnt by a reactor of the power plant for at least 54 months or four and a half years.
As the Roopur power plant has two reactors the number of nuclear fuel according to per unit calculation of the ministry of science and technology would be two dozen within its 51-year economic life span of the plant and the value of nuclear fuel under the current market price would be $1.4 billion.
The cost of uranium will push up the estimated cost of the power plant by the financial and technical assistance from Russia.
The government has already struck a deal to get $12 billion to cover construction cost of the power plant with two reactors, which is expected to be commissioned in 2023.
Additional secretary of the cabinet division Mst Nasima Begum said Russian state-owned TVEL Joint Stock Company would supply the nuclear fuel as per a government-to-government agreement between Bangladesh and Russia.
In April, the cabinet committee on economic affair approved purchasing nuclear fuel or uranium from the TVEL Joint Stock Company under price formula to be determined by three indicators including inflation and timing of order.
Besides, the price of uranium would be reviewed every 10 years.
Nasima Begum said the purchase committee also approved procurement of around 10 million barrel fuel oils at a cost of Tk 7,147.97 crore from the international market through an open bidding.
The fuel oils include 8 million barrel gas oil, which will be supplied to the local market for the next six months.
The government would purchase per kilowatt power at Tk 8.60 from the proposed 50 megawatt solar power plant at Dhamrai to be built by a German led consortium for 20 years.
Members of the consortium are ib vogt GmbH and Milner Vermogensverwaltungs GmbH of Germany and SS Agro Complex Ltd of Bangladesh.
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