23 Nov (NucNet): Vietnam's legislature on 22 November 2016 endorsed the government’s decision to scrap plans to build the country’s first two nuclear power stations. A statement from the government announcing the endorsement said cheaper renewable energy and power imports were available and that investment should be made in more urgent infrastructure needs. The National Assembly in 2009 ratified the plan to build two nuclear stations with a combined capacity of about 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.