11.11.2016_No224 / News in Brief

Vietnam Has Scrapped Plans For Nuclear Energy, Official News Agency Says

Plans & Construction

11 Nov (NucNet): Vietnam’s government has decided to scrap plans to build the country’s first nuclear-power plants because other energy sources have become cheaper and demand for power has slackened due to slowing economic growth, reports said. The government will submit its proposal to cancel the project to the country’s lawmaking body, the National Assembly, which is expected to ratify it later this month, the official Vietnam News Agency reported. Vietnam was among the first countries in Southeast Asia to embark on plans to develop nuclear energy, once considered essential for its fast-growing economy, which mainly relies on coal and hydropower for electricity. The National Assembly in 2009 ratified the plan to build two nuclear power stations with a combined capacity of 4,000 MW in the central province of Ninh Thuan. The government chose Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and Japan Atomic Power Company to build the stations, and signed a deal to borrow $8bn (€7.3bn) from Russia for building the first facility. Construction was initially scheduled to begin in 2014, but had been delayed several times. Early last year, officials said construction would be delayed until at least 2019, citing safety concerns following the March 2011 accident at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan. “Nuclear power is now less competitive than other power sources and is not urgently needed,” Duong Quang Thanh, chairman of the state-run Electricity of Vietnam Group that was overseeing the project, told local media on 9 November 2016. Mr Thanh said oil and coal are much cheaper today than when the project was proposed. Domestic crude oil and coal prices have fallen by around 50% since 2010, according to state media reports. Economic growth has also been slower than previously forecast, resulting in lower-than-expected demand for power, Mr Thanh said.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Russia And Vietnam Agree To Continue Cooperation On Planned Nuclear Plant (News in Brief No.188, 22 September 2016)

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