Vietnam Nuclear Power Program: National Assembly Scraps Atomic Energy Project With Russia, Japan

International Business Times,
23 November 2016.

Vietnam’s National Assembly voted Tuesday to scrap the country’s nuclear program due to the Southeast Asian nation’s “current economic conditions.” The program included the construction of two multi-billion-dollar nuclear power plants with Russia and Japan.

The government cited lower demand forecasts, rising costs and safety concerns as the reasons behind the scrapping of Vietnam’s first atomic energy project. The government added that the nation will make use of the cheaper renewable energy and power imports at its disposal and invest money in addressing infrastructure needs.

“The Vietnamese government highly appreciates the goodwill and support of the Russian and Japanese governments in the course of the preparations for projects. Vietnam assured Russia and Japan that they are key partners and will receive priority if Vietnam decides to build nuclear power plants in the future, and confirmed that canceling the project will not affect relations with Russia and Japan,” the government reportedly said.

In 2009, the legislature approved plans to build the two plants with the help of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and a group of Japanese firms headed by Japan Atomic Power. The proposed plants, located in central Ninh Thuan province, would have a combined capacity of 4,000 megawatts.

But the estimated investment required for the project had doubled over the years to nearly 400 trillion dong ($18 billion). Construction was scheduled to begin in 2014 but was delayed multiple times.

“We respect our customer’s position, and we are ready to provide the full support to Vietnam when the country continues the implementation of its national nuclear power program,” Rosatom said.

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