VietNamNet Bridge – While government agencies show the strong determination to hasten the nuclear power program implementation, experts have advised against doing this prematurely.
PM: nuclear power kicked off in 2020
In the latest news, the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a PetroVietnam’s conference on January 15, that the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant would only be kicked off in 2020.
Dung said that IAEA has advised Vietnam to take cautious steps in the nuclear power program and that Vietnam will only begin the program implementation when it can be sure the safest and most effectiveness of the program.
Professor Tran Dai Phuc, a member of the Vietnam – France consultancy group for the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant, commented that it is a reasonable decision to delay the construction of the plant.
The nuclear reactors offered to Vietnam by the Russian or Japanese designers can all meet the safety requirements set by the legislation agencies in the countries with the modern nuclear technology and 50-60-year experiences.
However, after the Fukushima accident in Japan, experts believe that safer technologies and higher requirements should be made. Meanwhile, the operation of the plant would still also depend on the labor force qualification.
Regarding the preparation in the labor force and the legal framework for the nuclear power program, Phuc commented that if the preparation works keep going as they did in the last five years, it would be impossible for Vietnam to start the nuclear power program even if it delays until 2020, or 2030.
“Five years ago, relevant agencies all reported to the National Assembly that everything went smoothly. However, nothing has got done,” he said. “Even the organization structure in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Electricity of Vietnam and Ministry of Science and Technology has not got perfect”.
He went on to say that unlike motorbike or car assembling shops, there will be no remedy for the accidents at the nuclear power plants. He compared the nuclear radioactivity as the demon in the cage, which will be uncontrollable if it can escape from the cage.
The accident at Three Mile Island in the US took place 40 years ago, but the problems have not been fixed completely yet. The US has to spend $200 billion to fix the problems so far, while its total investment capital was $2 billion.
Therefore, analysts have every reason to believe that Japan would have to spend trillions of dollars and hundreds of years to deal with Fukushima problems.
Management agencies vow to start project soon
The Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan said on local newspapers: “Ninh Thuan plant cannot be started this year as per the National Assembly’s resolution. The starting time may be delayed for 2-3 years. The government would report to the National Assembly about this”.
Collaborating on this, Quan said Vietnam would only consider the feasibility study this year end, choose the technology, define the location for the plant, prepare bidding invitation documents. The bidding would be carried out after 2015.
“It is highly possible that the first power generation unit would only be operational by 2025,” Quan said.
Meanwhile, ROSATCOM, the project consultant, said Ninh Thuan 1 plant designed by Russia would become operational by 2023-2024.