Vietnam Plans to Build 13 Nuclear Reactors

Vietnam plans to have 13 nuclear reactors online by 2030, with a combined capacity of 15 gigawatts, the government said Wednesday.

Nuclear power will account for 10% of the country’s total generation capacity, the government said on its website, citing a nuclear-power development plan recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The government aims to develop nuclear-power generating capacity in a bid to meet rising demand for electricity in a country with one of the fastest economic growth rates in Asia.

According to the plan, the reactors will be built in eight locations in the central provinces of Ninh Thuan, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Ha Tinh and Quang Ngai.

The first reactor, with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, is scheduled to be operational by 2020, and the second by 2021.

The government said that between 30% and 40% of the construction work will be undertaken by domestic companies. It added that nuclear power output will reach 8,000 megawatts by 2025.

State media reported last month that the government has chosen Russian technology for the construction of its first nuclear power plant, in Ninh Thuan province.

Vietnam Nuclear Energy Institute’s director, Vuong Huu Tan, was quoted in Saigon Giai Phong newspaper as saying that Russia’s light water reactor technology has been chosen because it is safe. Mr. Tan said in the report that a Russian partner is offering to build the 2,000-megawatt Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant at a cost of nearly $8 billion, but the company wasn’t identified. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, and the plant is slated to be operational in 2020.

State-run Vietnam Electricity Group signed a nuclear-power cooperation agreement with Russian energy group Rosatom during Prime Minister Dung’s visit to Russia in December.

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