Vietnam said it will carry out a project to build a 10-megawatt nuclear research reactor with Russia’s help, a move seen as a new step towards revitalizing plans to build nuclear power plants after being stopped in this country.
According to Nikkei, during President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s four-day visit to Moscow, starting from November 29, he was accompanied by Vietnamese nuclear experts. The resumption of nuclear projects was one of the topics discussed at bilateral talks when Phuc visited Russia.
Although a new nuclear facility will primarily be used to develop medical treatments, rather than provide energy. But experts say that building a nuclear reactor could be a stepping stone to resuming Vietnam’s atomic energy program.
Unlike in democratic countries, where there are criticisms of the nuclear power program, such criticism cannot easily emerge in Vietnam with a one-party political system.
A nuclear project in Vietnam has been approved for a pre-feasibility study. Nguyen Nhi Dien, a member of the project’s Working group, said at the 14th National Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology on December 9. Mr. Dien added that, after the technical survey as well as the environmental impact assessment, the construction site will be decided.
Previously, Vietnam and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding in 2011 to build a nuclear power plant within a decade, but the project was shelved due to increased safety concerns following the nuclear plant’s incident in Fukushima, Japan, in March of that year.