Vietnam Holds on to Nuclear Policy
Source: Bangkok Post (6/6/11)
"Without nuclear energy, Vietnam stands to become a net importer of energy, against its current status as a net exporter."
Despite the nuclear disaster that has rocked Japan and is knocking a few percentage points off that country's GDP in the process, Asean member Vietnam will proceed with its own plans for nuclear energy.
"The Japanese accident has made each country rethink its nuclear energy policy. But for Vietnam, the government has decided to go ahead and build nuclear power plants, a decision based on the long-term demand and supply outlook," Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said during a recent trip to Japan.
The minister, who is also in charge of national infrastructure development, said that otherwise Vietnam stood to become a net importer of energy by 2015 against its current status as a net exporter.
"Energy is vital for the sustainable growth of the country," said Mr Hai.
Vietnam has laid out plans to build four nuclear plants in the coming years that would generate 4,000 megawatts of electricity.
The first one, costing US$3.5 billion, will be in Ninh Thuan province along the southeastern coast.
Mr Hai said Vietnam believes it can learn safety lessons from the Fukushima I nuclear power station catastrophe.
He has met with Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda to request that country's continued cooperation on existing nuclear plant construction in Vietnam.
Japan has so far received orders from the Vietnamese government to build two of the nuclear plants.