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BD suggested to train up own manpower to operate nuke plants

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UNB Report Rostov (Russia): Russian experts have suggested Bangladesh, Vietnam and other countries that have taken up nuclear power plant (NPP) projects to train up their own manpower to operate their plants on their own. "It's better to gather technical knowledge and prepare yourself to operate your own plants," Andrey Silnikov, Director of Rostov NPP, said while briefing a group of journalists from Bangladesh, Vietnam and India who visited his plant. Rostov NPP, a 2000MW power plant having two units, is a subsidiary of the Russian state-own nuclear power agency Rosatom set up with VVR technology. Another unit having 1000 MW capacity is being added to the plant. Bangladesh has signed a contract with Rosatom to set up a similar plant with 2000 MW capacity, each unit of 1000 MW, with the same VVR technology. Rosatom has similar contract with Vietnam to set up similar capacity plant while India has 21 nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear power plants, having an installed capacity of 5308 MW and while seven other reactors are under construction and expected to generate an additional 6,100 MW. Among these three nations in Asia, India has been far ahead in the field having a strong base of institutions where it has been creating experts to operate its own projects. Vietnam has also taken up steps to create nuclear experts as its 400 students are studying in different Russian universities, but Bangladesh has been far behind. Bangladesh has just opened a new department on nuclear science at Dhaka University and sent 65 students to different Russian universities in September this year to study nuclear science and power technology under a government-to-government contract. Many other countries, including Turkey, Nigeria, Bolivia, Madagascar, Jordan and Mongolia, are sending students to Russian universities to study nuclear science as they are implementing nuclear power plant projects with Russian technology and help. The Rostov NPP director said his plan has been selected as the best one in Russia where more than 30 units of nuclear power plant is in operation to produce more than 25,000 MW of electricity, about 17 percent of the total electricity generation in the country. Responding to a question, Silnikov said Russia maintains a standard to keep its nuclear power plant projects at least 3 km away from public localities. "Though there’s no chance of any radiation outside the nuclear power plants, we maintain this standard as per our four-step safety measures," he said. Silnikov also said the common people are being made aware of the nuclear technology and its other aspects through information centres," he added. The Russian expert suggested the same kind of steps for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project being constructed at a location surrounded by densely populated villages.