She joined the programme from her official residence Gonobhaban through a videoconference.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken a decision to set up another nuclear power plant on completion of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project. “We’ll do that if we get a suitable place. My choice is to do that on the other side of the Padma river… that means the southern region of the country.”

Mentioning that the government is conducting surveys to select a suitable place, she said it would not be a tough job to select a site. “If the government can build another nuclear power plant in the country, there’ll be no problem in power supply.”

The prime minister said the government has set a target to make the country a developed one within 2041. “Already, we’ve got the status of a developing country…this is not enough.”

In 2071, the prime minister said, the country will celebrate its 100 years of independence. “That will surely be celebrated by the new generation in a beautiful, developed, prosperous and modern technology knowledge-based country,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has formulated the Delta Plan 2100 so that this country never lags behind and no clutch of vultures falls upon this country ever.

The prime minister said the government wants Bangladesh to march forward with its unstoppable development pace.

Russian and Bangladeshi expert teams installed the reactor pressure vessel brought to the project site from Russia in October, 2020.

The nuclear power plant, designed and built by the engineering division of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia, will consist of two such VVER-1200 reactor power units. Their life cycle is expected to be 60 years, with the possible extension of service life of another 20 years.

The Russian design with VVER-1200 reactors, successfully implemented at Novovoronezh NPP-2, was selected for the first NPP in Bangladesh.

The plant will have two power units with an electrical capacity of 1,200 MW each.

Science and technology minister Yeafesh Osman and director general of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia also spoke at the event.

A video presentation on Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant was screened at the programme. The prime minister also witnessed the final installation process of RPV.

PM Hasina said her government wants to ensure electricity for all and the nuclear power plant will play a significant role in this regard.

She described the installation of the reactor pressure vessel in the Rooppur nuclear power plant as a matter of pride for the country and its people. “New distribution lines are also being installed from the nuclear power plant,” she said, hoping that electricity from there will reach houses in 2023-24.

About security and safety in the plant areas, the prime minister said a four-tier security measure has been taken using the modern technologies in the power plant. “So, there’s no chance of any unwanted accident to happen in the country’s maiden nuclear power plant.”

Sheikh Hasina said setting up a nuclear power plant in Rooppur is a new experience for the country’s scientists, engineers and for those who are working in the atomic energy sector. “Necessary training has also been organised to develop skilled manpower to run such a sophisticated and highly technical establishment,” she added.

The prime minister also extended her thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin for his country’s support to Bangladesh in setting up the nuclear power plant in Rooppur.

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