Southeast Asia’s 1st nuclear plant will start in Vietnam in 2020

Posted on June 6, 2011. Filed under: Energy, International Watch |

Bernama

MOSCOW: South East Asia’s first nuclear power plant will be operational in Vietnam in 2020 after six years of construction, as demand for nuclear energy remains strong in the region in the post-Fukushima era, a nuclear conference was told Monday.

It will be commissioned two years after Bangladesh completes its Roopur Nuclear Power Project and becomes the latest country in the region to develop such energy.

Tran Chi Thank, of the Vietnam Institute of Energy, said the first plant would be built by Russia while Japan would undertake the construction of the second one beginning 2015 and ready for commissioning in 2021.

Both will be built in the Ninh Thuan province, he said.

“The study towards nuclear energy in Vietnam began 30 years ago but was put on hold due to the Chernobyl (crisis in Russia) in 1986. But it was approved in 2009, ” he told the AtomExpo 2011 organised by Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) here.

Besides Vietnam, other South East Asian countries that have declared their intention to develop nuclear energy are Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

According to Tran, the biggest challenge facing Vietnam was to develop its nuclear manpower as the number of personnel available now was limited, adding that they were working closely with Russian nuclear institutes to train them.

Shawkat Akhbar from Bangladesh’s Nuclear Power and Energy Division said the country was moving into nuclear energy due to limited resources.

“We hope to achieve 20,000 MW of electricity by 2021 from two units. In fact the Roopur site was chosen in 1963,” he said, adding that more than 1,600 personnel were involved in the project team.

Both Vietnam and Bangladesh have sent their personnel to undertake intensive training in Russia.

Yury Seleznev, Rector of Russia’s training institute CICE& T, said about 1,000 highly trained personnel were required to run a two unit nuclear plant, adding that training must start five years before a plant was commissioned.

“All staff must be already trained two years before the plant starts operation. A training centre that also plays the role of an information centre must be in place five years before the operation,” he said.

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