Vietnam prepares for nuclear power

06 October 2011

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has signed an agreement with a consortium of Japanese companies to progress the design, construction and operation of the country's second proposed nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Rosatom will help establish a nuclear energy information centre in Hanoi.


Just one day after signing a contract with the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) to conduct a feasibility study into the construction of a nuclear power plant in the southern Ninh Thuan province, state-owned EVN signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Nuclear Energy Development of Japan Co (JINED). The two companies will now cooperate in designing, building and operating the proposed plant.


EVN submitted six criteria which are to be addressed by the MoU. These include the supply of reactors using the latest technology and having the highest safety; a stable supply of nuclear fuel; and support for the disposal of radioactive waste. In addition, JINED must support Vietnam in developing a nuclear energy industry, training workers and providing financial support.


The requirements are in line with a May 2008 cooperation agreement, under which Japan agreed to help Vietnam prepare and plan for the introduction of nuclear energy, educate experts in nuclear power and help the country formulate nuclear safety regulations.


JINED was established in October 2010, with the prime purpose of "proposal and research activities for nuclear power plant project orders in emerging countries." Headquartered in Tokyo, JINED is three-quarters owned by nine electric power companies, while three nuclear engineering companies each hold a 5% stake, with the remaining 10% held by Innovation Network of Japan - a joint venture of government and industry.


The move to establish the consortium was seen as a reaction to South Korea's success in exporting to the United Arab Emirates and directed towards winning new nuclear contracts with the emerging nuclear countries of south-east Asia.


Russian assistance


Vietnam's first nuclear power plant will be supplied by Russia's AtomStroyExport at Phuoc Dinh, also in Ninh Thuan province, after an October 2010 agreement. Construction of the first two units at Phouc Dinh is scheduled to start in 2014, with the first reactor scheduled to be commissioned by 2020 and the second in 2021.


Last week a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Vietnam's ministry of education and training and Russian state nuclear company Rosatom aimed at establishing an information centre for nuclear energy at Hanoi Polytechnic University.


The agreement was signed by Sergei Novikov, director of Rosatom's communications department, and Bui Van Ha, Vietnam's deputy minister of education and training.


Rosatom said that the MoU is part of continued cooperation between Russian and Vietnam to create favourable public opinion about nuclear energy in Vietnam, as well as ensuring the country's future nuclear industry has sufficient qualified personnel.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News