Vietnam upgrades reactor choice

21 November 2014

Vietnamese officials have chosen Rosatom's AES-2006 design for the country's first nuclear power plant at Ninh Thuan, increasing the planned capacity of the four unit plant by about 800 MWe. A second plant should follow based on a partnership with Japan.

The choice of Russian technology for Ninh Thuan 1 at Phuoc Dinh has now been made, and Atomproekt based in Saint Petersburg will supply its version of the AES-2006 plant for at least the first two units. This design produces 1200 MWe for transmission over the grid and its replacement of the VVER-1000 units previously planned would add about 800 MWe to Ninh Thuan's future generating capacity across four units.

The reactors are to be built over 2017-23 as a turnkey project. Russia's Ministry of Finance is prepared to finance at least 85% of this first plant, to supply the nuclear fuel and take back the used fuel for the life of the plant. These details were explained to delegates at the Atomex Asia conference organised by Rosatom on 19-20 November in Ho Chi Minh City.

To support the operation of the future plant some 344 undergraduate and graduate students from Vietnam are currently studying in Russia, and 150 engineers are working at Russia's Rostov nuclear power plant where two VVER-1000s are in operation and two new ones are at late stages of construction.
Rosatom and Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (Vinatom) are jointly setting up a Centre for Nuclear Energy Science & Technology (CNEST) which will become the main coordinating body for nuclear research and development in Vietnam, including the Dong Nai Research Centre in the south and the Institute of Nuclear Technology connected with Hanoi University of Science & Technology in the north. An early project is to build a new 15 MWt research reactor for operation from October 2018, though the site is not yet decided. It will be used for training staff for the nuclear power program and access will be offered to other countries in southeast Asia. CNEST will also be responsible for the existing Da Lat research reactor, which was commissioned in 1984.

Separately a Nuclear Industry Information Centre has been established for the public at the Hanoi University of Science & Technology. This is based on others set up by Rosatom in 20 Russian cities as well as cities in Bangladesh and Turkey.

Second plant

The Ninh Thuan 2 plant at Vinh Hai, on Cam Ranh Bay about 20 kilometres northeast of Phouc Dinh, is to be developed under a partnership with Japan and consideration of possible technology options is ongoing.

The International Nuclear Energy Development of Japan Co. (JINED), will work with Electricity Vietnam on the project, which will also involve financing and insurance of up to 85% of the total cost. JINED is a consortium of Japan's METI, nine utilities (led by Chubu, Kansai & Tepco) and three manufacturers (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toshiba and Hitachi). The intergovernmental agreement took effect from January 2012 and Japan has committed to train about 1000 staff for Ninh Thuan 2.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News