VIETNAM: Nuclear joint venture with Japan on track

Vietnamese newspaper reports suggest that the country's plan to construct nuclear power stations with assistance from the Japanese Atomic Industry Forum remain on track despite the radioactive disaster on 30 September at a nuclear fuel fabrication plant in Tokaimura, Japan.

The Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper quoted the director of Vietnam’s Nuclear Energy Institute as confirming that a national committee to oversee nuclear power generation is being created. The Tuoai Treu newspaper reported that the first station is expected to have a generating capacity of 3-4,000MW and to be in operation by 2020. Six locations in four coastal provinces have been put forward as possible sites for the first plant.

A national seminar on nuclear energy development was held on 11 and 12 October in Hao Noai, following an August visit from the Japanese Atomic Industry Forum (JAIF). The JAIF delegation included a Japanese senator, Prof Yutaka Takeyama, who spoke of Japan’s desire to work closely with Vietnam in the latter’s nuclear energy programme.

An employee of the United Nations Development Programme in Vietnam told edie that Vietnam has discussed nuclear energy with countries other than Japan. “I believe that there have been discussions with the French and, of course, the Russians. Some of these discussions also involve related issues such as nuclear medicine,” said the employee.

Japan has been criticised in the wake of the Tokaimura criticality event for failing to supervise adequately its nuclear energy industry (see related story).

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