NA terminates Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant project

Wednesday, 2016-11-23 12:51:30
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NDO/VNA – The National Assembly has adopted a resolution to terminate the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant project due to the country’s current economic situation, Chairman of the Government Office Minister Mai Tien Dung said at a Government press conference on November 22.

The Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant project was approved by the National Assembly at Resolution No. 41/2009/QH12 dated November 25, 2009. It was designed to have Ninh Thuan 1 and Ninh Thuan 2 plants with each capable of generating about 2000 MW to the national grid. Preparations for the construction of the plants were carefully instructed by the Government in line with the law, Dung said.

However, the Government found the country’s current economic situation is not favourable for the project to continue.

The macro-economy experienced a lot of changes since the project was approved, while the purchase of power from neighbouring countries would be increased and usage of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, is promising and feasible as production costs have reduced significantly, Dung said.

At present, the country needs huge capital to develop modern infrastructure synchronously in service of socio-economic development, as well as to tackle climate change issues.

Therefore, the Government’s report on the issue led to the National Assembly’s issuance of the resolution to halt the construction of the two Ninh Thuan nuclear power plants, he said.

He stated that technology is not the reason behind the halt and affirmed that the technologies from Russia and Japan planned for use are the most cutting-edge with high safety.

He affirmed that the decision to terminate the project was thoroughly considered and discussed with a high sense of responsibility of the Party Central Committee, the Government and the National Assembly with a view to ensuring the country’s sustainable development.
He expressed his hope that the decision will be strongly supported by people and understood by Russia and Japan.

The project was previously expected to contribute about 3.6% in capacity and 5.7% in electricity output to the national power system once it was completed.

The termination of this project won’t affect power supplies as Vietnam can use other electricity sources such as thermal power, renewable energy, power produced by using liquefied natural gas (LNG), or purchase electricity from neighbouring countries, especially Laos, Dung said.

From now until 2030, Vietnam will consider replacing the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plants with thermal power factories using advanced and environmentally friendly technologies, and plants with turbines fuelled by LNG. After that, it will accelerate the development of renewable energy such as wind and solar power, the implementation of energy efficiency measures, and the purchase of electricity from neighbouring countries.

Minister Dung said the Government will work to capitalise on the facilities already built under the project to serve local socio-economic development. Meanwhile, people who are receiving training in Russia and Japan for the project will continue their study so as to work for the peaceful application of atomic energy, along with thermal power plants.

Although the Russian and Japanese partners expressed their regret at the termination of the project, they also sympathised with Vietnam and respected its decision. The Russian and Japanese Governments also want to increase cooperation with and support to Vietnam on a number of infrastructure development aspects to replace the cooperation in the Ninh Thuan power plant project.

The Vietnamese Government highly values and acknowledges the goodwill and assistance of the two countries’ governments during the preparations for the project and the effective cooperation of the direct partners such as ROSATOM of Russia and JINED of Japan, Dung said, adding that Russia and Japan remain as priority partners in the case that Vietnam builds nuclear power plants in the future.

The halt to the project will not influence Vietnam’s comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia and the extensive strategic partnership with Japan, the official reiterated.

The Government will continue giving attention to Ninh Thuan’s socio-economic development, he pledged.