Vietnamese delay confirmed

28 January 2014

Construction on Vietnam's first nuclear power plant at Phuoc Dinh in the southern Ninh Thuan province will not commence later this year as previously planned.

Speaking at the Civil Nuclear Export Showcase in London on 28 Janaury, Phan Minh Tuan, Deputy Director of Ninh Thuan, confirmed that a "realistic schedule" for the project to build two VVER-1000 reactors supplied by Russia's AtomStroyExport would be for first concrete in 2017 or 2018. Commissioning of unit 1 would then commence in 2023, with the second unit following a year later. Protracted negotiations on the technology and financing were cited as one of the main causes of the delay.

According to Tuan, the schedule for the country's second nuclear power plant – to be supplied by Japan – at the Vinh Hai site (also in Ninh Thuan province), will also be delayed. In the light of safety concerns following the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, Tuan said that "technology selection is very tough for us" and that this was delaying progress on the project. Construction on the project had previously been expected to commence at the end of 2015.

In 2011, Nguyen Tan Dung, the prime minister of Vietnam, approved the Vietnam Power Development Plan for the 2011-2020 Period (also known as the Power Development Master Plan VII, or PDP 7), which envisaged the first reactor accounting for 2.1% of the country's projected 330 TWh electricity consumption in 2020. By 2030, the plan assumed nuclear power capacity to reach 10.7 GWe, accounting for 10.1% of electricity production.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News