Vietnam postpones start-up of first nuclear power plant to 2028

By Dao Dang Toan   March 18, 2016 | 02:48 am PT
Vietnam has decided to push back plans to open its first nuclear power plant until 2028 in the latest delay to the country’s nuclear power ambitions, the government said in a statement on March 17.

The change to the country’s nuclear power development program is part of an adjustment to the National Power Development Plan for 2011-2020 with a vision to 2030, which was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently.

The nuclear power sector will generate 4,600 MW of electricity in 2030, contributing 32.5 billion kWh or 5.7 percent of the country’s total electricity output.

Nuclear power plants will ensure power supplies for the country when there is a shortage of domestic primary energy sources, the government said.

Vietnam signed an agreement in October 2010 for Russia’s Atomstroyexport, the engineering arm of Rosatom, to build the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant, which will consist of two VVER-1000 or VVER-1200 reactors. Construction of the units had been scheduled to begin in 2014, with startup projected for 2020.

In November 2010, Vietnam signed a separate agreement with a Japanese consortium that includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toshiba and Hitachi for two 1000-MW Gen III units at the Ninh Thuan II project. These reactors were to go operational after 2020.

The PM said in January 2014 the construction of the first nuclear power project will be delayed to around 2020 to ensure safety standards.

The delay was mainly due to site investigation issues. After the Fukushima disaster, the Vietnamese government has asked relevant parties to assess seismic and geological risks at the site more carefully, Hoang Anh Tuan, director of the Department of Atomic Energy under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said in December last year.

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