Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Vietnam scraps plan for first nuclear power plants

Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly voted to approve a resolution to scrap a megaproject to build two multibillion-dollar nuclear power plants in south-central Vietnam on Tuesday.
The decision to abandon the Ninh Thuan nuclear power project, consisting of two planned plants, Ninh Thuan 1 and 2, in the namesake province was taken due to economic reasons, rather than for safety or technology issues, the Government Office told reporters, ten minutes after the vote.
“Vietnam’s current macroeconomic situation is very different to that of 2009, when the megaproject was approved for development,” Minister Mai Tien Dung, head of the Government Office, said.
The minister added that the decision was made following careful and intensive consideration and discussion by the government, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the sustainable development of the country.
He also said there would be low demand for nuclear power in the future, with the government now prioritizing its budget toward other important major projects like the north-to-south expressway and the Long Thanh International Airport.
Under the government’s ambitious plan, the Ninh Thuan 1 and 2 facilities, once operational, would have been Vietnam’s first nuclear power plants.
The two plants are among five nuclear power facilities slated for construction in Vietnam’s central region between 2020 and 2030 under a plan approved by the government in response to forecasts that the country will face a serious power shortage by 2020.
But Dung said during yesterday’s press meeting that the latest forecasts have ruled out any power shortage. “We can be assured that by 2030, Vietnam will have some 34 thermal, wind and solar power projects,” he said.
The planned nuclear power project was expected to use technology and equipment from Japan and Russia.
Dung said the Vietnamese government had discussed the project’s abandonment with Japanese and Russian partners, who expressed their regret that the project had been scrapped.
“But they also showed sympathy toward Vietnam and expressed hope to continue cooperating with us on other infrastructure development in place of the nuclear power investment,” Dung said.


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