NUCLEAR POWER

Vietnam decides to put nuclear power plant construction plans on ice

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 November, 2016, 5:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 November, 2016, 5:02pm

The Vietnamese government has decided to scrap plans to build nuclear power plants with Japanese and Russian assistance, a Vietnam Electricity official said Wednesday.

The decision to withdraw the contracts to build the nuclear power reactors in Ninh Thuan Province will be a blow to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, which sees Japan’s export of nuclear power technology as a pillar of his economic growth strategy.

The country’s ruling Communist Party instructed government authorities in October to revise the plans due to tight state finances, party and government sources said earlier.

The government plans to submit a resolution to the National Assembly on Thursday requesting the plans be put off, according to state-run media.

The country’s policy of promoting nuclear power, however, remains unchanged, according to the Vietnam Electricity official.

The National Assembly approved in 2009 the plans to build two nuclear power reactors each at two plants in Ninh Thuan Province, central Vietnam.

Japan was awarded contracts to build the two reactors at the Ninh Thuan 2 Nuclear Power Plant, while Russia was scheduled to build the other two at the Ninh Thuan 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

The first plant was originally slated to become operational in 2020 but was subsequently delayed until 2028, followed by 2029 for the second plant.