Vietnamese prime minister calls for improvements to country's dam safety evaluations

Nguyen Tan Dung

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked Vietnam's various authorities to evaluate all of the country's hydroelectric projects in order to increase its dam safety, HydroWorld.com has learned.

Vietnamese sources said operations may be suspended at hydropower plants operating in violation of safety regulations, and that resettlement zones will also be checked to assess resident living conditions.

Dung's declaration also included measures for more a more stringent project approval process -- largely in response to concerns regarding Vietnam's 190-MW Song Tranh 2 hydropower complex, which had not been properly evaluated for its reservoir capacity or stability under seismic duress.

The prime minister also noted that the Dong Nai 6 and Dong Nai 6A hydropower proposals will also be reassessed, and that they would not receive investment licenses should they fail to satisfy legal regulations.

HydroWorld.com reported in November 2011 that the safety of Vietnam's 7.5-MW Dak Mek 3 micro hydro project was also in question after being hit by a 60-ton dump truck. Damages were attributed to the crash, though officials with the country's Dak Lak Province said they appeared too significant not to have been caused in part by construction or design flaws.

RusHydro Group's JSC Institute Hydroproject was also reported to have begun an evaluation of the 2,400-MW Son La hydro project during the same month.

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