January 18th, 2018
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Nuclear energy option
September 20th, 20102,070 views

The long descriptive, and somewhat confusing essay by Abdul Wahab on the subject, published in The Financial Express on the 18th.September, is a historical and statistical statement of events. Technical and environmental aspects of nuclear power generation has been avoided!

One wonders if the sweeping statement, and I quote: "Bangladesh has both the expertise and infrastructure to go nuclear"; based on running a very small 3MW research reactor is logical and justified. What we need is at least one 300 or say 500MW capacity nuclear power plant to begin with.

Just the cooling water circuit of such a nuclear power plant (300MW) with its various fail-safe interlocking protection of the nuclear reactor is more complex than he possibly is aware of.

Further his idea of BUET opening a faculty of nuclear engineering for; as he states: "to feed the nuclear power projects with nuclear engineers", is nothing but 'wishful thinking' or 'day dreams' to say the least! It is totally divorced from pragmatic realities of the actual involvement of ultimately monetary resources.

Some of the statistical figures given are rather confusing. The writer states: "the total electricity generation by BPDP (misprint?) is 5200MW but it is generating around 4600MW and the private sector is generating 1500MW." This gives the total generation (4600+1500) of 6100MW! There seems to be some confusion in the statement. Is it that, he means to say that PDB generates 4600MW out of an installed capacity of 5200MW? This gives a generation capacity utilisation of 84.6 percent! This utilization level also seems quite high. The apparent anomaly in these figures; makes all the other figures given, to be suspect.

Regarding the 'only' one accident at Chernobyl; it was a "catastrope" and a major one at that; not just an accident. However he has said nothing about the other near tragic incidents, that have been kept 'under wraps' in various countries. He said nothing about the near disaster at the 'Three Mile Island" nuclear power plant in USA. Significantly; no further nuclear power plant was built in USA after that near tragedy! Also no mention was made of the radiation leakage and contamination of cooling water in the U.K atomic power plant. Another major accident; to say the least!

Given our high popultion density; one small mishap in a U236 fueled nuclear power plant in Bangladesh; could well be a major human tragedy; that can be a horrible long term medical problem for generatuions. This is now being tackled around Hiroshima and Nagasaki; with little publicity on the subject, for understandable reasons.