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On 21 September 2017 India, said it is going to collaborate with Russia on the Rooppur nuclear power plant project in Bangladesh, the first Indo-Russian collaboration to undertake an atomic energy venture in another country.

This will also be India’s first atomic energy venture abroad, reports media.“We are collaborating with our Russian and Bangladeshi partners on establishing Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh,” Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Sekhar Basu said at the 61st general conference of the global nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Dr Basu’s remarks are significant given that the Indian nuclear establishment has not been able to grow internationally in years due to sanctions imposed on New Delhi following the 1974 Pokhran tests. It was, however, not clear what kind of “collaboration” India was doing since it is not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) – a 48-member grouping that controls the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nukes.

According to the December 2014 “Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy” between India and Russia, the “two sides will explore opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for the construction of the Russian- designed nuclear power plants in third countries.

”April 2017 saw India signing a civil nuclear cooperation deal along with two other agreements with Bangladesh under which the two countries can supply and manufacture equipment and material for the nuclear power plant.

The Rooppur nuclear power plant, being built by the Russians, is Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project. With two units having a generating capacity of 1,200MW, Bangladesh is in line to becoming the third Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness energy from atomic fission.