World News

IAEA approves Bangladesh nuclear power plant

DHAKA (Reuters) - Energy-starved Bangladesh has been approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to set up a nuclear power station.

Bangladesh’s power shortfall has soared to 2,000 megawatt (mw), as the power generation came down to 3,000 mw against the demand of about 5,000 mw, due to mechanical troubles in most of the 60 decades-old power plants.

“Bangladesh was in the top of the list of eight developing countries which were approved to set up nuclear power plants,” Tapan Chowdhury, adviser to the interim government and head of the energy ministry, told reporters on Sunday without giving details.

He said an IAEA delegation would arrive in Bangladesh next week to examine Bangladesh’s plan to generate electricity from the proposed nuclear power plant.

Early last month Tapan said Bangladesh was considering atomic energy as an alternative source to meet the growing shortfall in electricity output.

Bangladesh’s existing power plants are fuelled by gas and coal, but the country’s reserves of gas and coal were fast depleting, Tapan said.

Ggas and coal reserves will run out within decades if used at the present rate, officials said.

If there was no new plant Bangladesh might go into a total blackout by 2011.

Bangladesh produces gas from 14 out of 23 discovered fields and has 14 tcf of proven and recoverable gas reserves based on current estimates. More than 3 tcf of gas has been extracted.

Bangladesh consumes around 1.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) gas per day.