Friday, September 18, 2009

Bangladesh Joins The List of Countries with Nuclear Ambition

Bangladesh has also revealed its interest to join the growing ranks of countries set to get nuclear energy. The step minister for Science, Information and Technology Yafes Usman said that already it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Russians in May. A Russian team has visited Bangladesh. A team from Dhaka is due to visit Russia in late October. The first step of the plan is to get a 600-1000 MW Plant to meet the extreme electricity scarcity of the country. It is part of consorted national effect.   It sought the approval from IAEA  in 2007 said Tapan Chowdhury, adviser to then interim government and head of the energy ministry.
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Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries on Earth. It also has a relatively smaller geographic area. The safety of the plant can be a major concern. It has the potential to turn into a mega disaster.

On the other hand there is almost no reserve in natural energy in the country.  Bangladesh has about 14 tcf of proven and recoverable gas reserves. More than 3 tcf of gas has been extracted and it consumes around 1.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) gas per day. It's small gas and coal reserves will run out within decades if used at the present rate.

Hidden among the development is probably a brewing mini nuclear race in the Ganges Delta.  Read on Myanmer's nuclear ambitions too.  Steps ahead, Burma is building  a 10 MW light-water nuclear Research Reactor. It has an active uranium search program which confirmed deposit discoveries in five sites Magwe, Taungdwingyi, Kyaukphygon and Paongpyin in Mogok, and Kyauksin. In 2006, a full fledged nuclear engineering departments at Yangoon Technological University (equivalent of BUET) has been established with BS to PhD program. There is uncorroborated report about a secret weapons program in the Naung Laing mountains [Google Earth View of the Secret Installation] - located less than 400 km east of Dhaka.

How hard it will be for Bangladesh to set a foot in the game? In 2008, Pakistan has offered strategic partnership to Bangladesh in nuclear technology.

It a classic nuclear chain reaction. Pakistan got it for India. India did it not that much to fight Pakistan- but to secure itself against China. China got it to be balance it's power with US and the West. But by now it has nothing to do with US or West. The complex geopolitics of the sub-continent makes its a matter of mere Bangladesh's national will.


  1. The law and order and corruption situation is also a concern. Can it run the power plant safely withstanding all the corruption and political violence?

  2. The coal and gas power generation can be increasingly shifted to private sector- while the goverment should lead the way for nuclear, wind and other non-conventional power generation.

  3. It looks like there is some strange effects of nuclear power. I wonder it might help making world more peaceful if all countries have 2-3 pieces of nuclear weapons.