Moscow, 22 October 2009

Bangladesh and the Russian Federation have signed a Protocol in Moscow on 21 October 2009 on the co-operation in the field of peaceful usage of atomic energy during the visit of a nine member Bangladesh delegation headed by the Hon'ble State Minister for Science and ICT Architect Yeasfes Osman. Mr. Md. Neazuddin Miah, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Science and ICT of Bangladesh and Mr. Mikhail N. Lysenko, Director of the State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" of Russia signed the Protocol on behalf of their respective Governments.

 

According to Protocol, a Joint Working Group between Bangladesh and Russia will be formed and its composition and schedule of work will be defined in the working process. As per Protocol, it was agreed to arrange further exchange of visits from both the sides particularly at experts' level. The Bangladesh side will prepare the proposals by the end of 2009 on organization of meetings of their experts with Russian specialists on the most practical issues of mutual cooperation.

The attention of Bangladesh delegation was drawn to the possibilities in connection with the development of national program and its essential parts – legal framework in the area of peaceful usage of nuclear energy. Bangladesh delegation sought support from Russian Federation in establishing nuclear power plant and the Russian side assured of extending all possible assistance to Bangladesh in this regard.

The issue of signing the framework agreement on the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant was discussed. The main procedural issues on completion of negotiating the text of Agreement and carrying out its technical revise in Russian, English and Bengali were finalized. The draft Agreement is under examination and soon it would be ready for signature. It was agreed that it will be signed at a mutually convenient time.

Practical steps on the realization of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and the State Corporation "Rosatom" on cooperation in the area of peaceful usage of nuclear energy, signed in May 2009 in Dhaka, were discussed.

Extensive programmes were arranged for Bangladesh delegation during their visit from 18-22 October. The Bangladesh delegation was presented with the key directions of activities of "Rosatom". They also visited to the unit 4 (four) of Kalininskaya Nuclear Power Plant and to the crisis management center of "Energoatom Concern". On each occasion, extensive presentations were made which were followed by substantive discussions and consultations. The crisis management center is an integral part of the NPP to ensure full safety and security of the NPP round the clock. The Russian Crisis Center is based on a concept embracing the best experience and ideas of the leading nuclear powers, the United States and France, and underpinned by up-to-date information technologies, computer equipment and telecommunications.

A meeting was held between Bangladesh delegation and the senior management of "Atomstroyexport", the sole Russian Company to undertake Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Project Management (EPCM) in Nuclear Power Plant abroad. It revealed from their presentation that the third generation NPP using the state-of-the-art technology has an estimated life of 60 years with the provision of extension by another 20 years. Bangladesh delegation also made a presentation on "Power System Planning of Bangladesh-Status of Nuclear Power Programme".

A meeting was held between the Bangladesh delegation and Mr. S.V. Kiriyenko, Former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Director General of "Rosatom". During the meeting, the basic issues of the current Russia- Bangladesh co-operation and its perspectives were discussed. Hon'ble State minister recalled with fondness that the Government and people of the Russian Federation stood shoulder to shoulder in Bangladesh's liberation war. "Our great leader father of the nation Bangobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was respected very much by our Russian friends and today, his daughter Sheikh Hasina is in power" he added. Architect Yeafes Osman expressed his hope that the government and the great people of Russia would share the same warm feeling and sentiment for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the People of Bangladesh". Bangladesh State Minister also noted that the present government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had declared her vision 2021 to make a digital Bangladesh with the aim of reaching Bangladesh to a middle income country. Accordingly, the Government has outlined the target of generating 20,000 MW electricity by 2021 to ensure universal electrification in Bangladesh. He stressed that to meet that objective, nuclear energy is a major option for Bangladesh. The Former Prime Minister of Russia concurred with the current situation in Bangladesh and assured of providing all possible support to Bangladesh in this regard.

The other members of the delegation comprise Alhaj Md. Dabirul Islam, Hon'ble M.P. and President of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Science and ICT, Dr. S. M. Saiful Hoque, Ambassador of Bangladesh in Russia, Mr. Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan Secretary, ERD, Mr. A. K. M. Abdul Awal Mazumder, Secretary, Ministry of Science and ICT, Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Secretary, Power Division, Mr. Md. Neazuddin Miah, Additional Secretary Ministry of Science and ICT, Dr. Farid Uddin Ahmed
Member (Physical Science), Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and Dr. Mohammad Shawkat Akber, Principle Scientific Officer and Project Director of Rooppur Nuclear Power Project.

The delegation members are scheduled to return Dhaka on 23 October.

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