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Energy-short Bangladesh starts construction of first nuclear power plant

Bangladesh has begun building its first nuclear power plant, which eventually is to have two Russian-designed reactors and cost $4 billion.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone Wednesday for the nuclear plant in Rooppur in the country's northwest.

The first reactor is expected to start generating 1,000 megawatts of power by 2018. A second reactor would later double that capacity to 2,000 megawatts.

Bangladesh signed a deal with Russian state-owned nuclear giant Rosatom in 2011 to build the plant. Russia agreed to provide low-cost loans to finance 90 percent of the project.

The energy-starved South Asian country faces daily shortages of about 2,000 megawatts of electricity.