Bangladesh To Get New Nuclear Power Plant

It was with great excitement that Tapan Chowdhury, the energy and power advisor for Bangladesh, announced to reporters that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had agreed to help Bangladesh install a nuclear power plant in order to help the country meet growing demands for power. Bangladesh was one of eight minimally developed countries to be given the IAEA nod of approval for such a project.

Up until this point, Bangladesh’s energy requirements have been far greater than the energy supplied – roughly 2 000 megawatts greater. The country has been trying to cope with the growing demand by cranking up the energy output of their 60-year-old power plants. Despite best efforts, however, power generation is now only putting out 3 000 megawatts which leaves the country with a 2 000 megawatt deficit. Such a great need for power put Bangladesh in the spotlight for assistance from the IAEA and this is exactly what they have received. On the 25th of June 2007, the IAEA officially set the goal of helping set up a new nuclear power plant in Banglasdesh by 2050 and the country already has a standing offer from South Korea to help install the plant.

As part of efforts to see this goal realized, a two-member delegation from the IAEA is now visiting the country in order to better understand the situation and to discuss Bangladesh’s nuclear energy prospects. This delegation will also attend the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Council (BAEC) meeting which will be held in Dhaka on Monday, 2 July. During the course of this meeting, the team will establish certain criteria for atomic energy use in general and also set certain regulations on this energy use. This will help to improve the energy shortage in all developing countries directly involved in the project.

While plans to get the Bangladesh’s nuclear power plant built get well underway, similar efforts are also being put in place in Morocco, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia and several other small countries in central Asia. Hopefully the nuclear power plant project for Bangladesh will serve as a model that other countries will be able to draw on and follow to increase their chances of success.