Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant postponed

Vietnam will look to gas-fired power to temporarily make up the shortfall after deciding not to go ahead with a planned nuclear power plant until 2020.

The construction was supposed to be the first of seven nuclear power plants scheduled to be in place by 2030 but the government has decided against as a result of fears about safety and efficiency post-Fukushima.
  Nuclear power cooling towers
 Faced with increased demand for power, Vietnam needs to develop new energy sources as its domestic coal and hydropower production is levelling off. The Asian Development Bank has said domestic electricity demand may rise by up to 14 per cent per year until 2015 and plateau at 11 per cent growth until 2020.

 The country had awarded the construction contract for its first nuclear power plant to Russian companies. The second was given to companies from Japan. Construction of the first plant in Ninh Thuan province on Vietnam's central coast was originally slated to start this year.

 However, Tuoi Tre newspaper on Thursday quoted Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung as telling a government conference that construction will probably have to be postponed until 2020 to ensure the highest safety and efficiency standards.

The prime minister also ordered PetroVietnam to ensure gas supplies to feed a planned 5000 MW power plant to offset the 4000 MW of delayed nuclear generation capacity, it said.

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