Russians (and everyone else) woo Vietnam

1 April 2010

Vietnam's minister of education and training Nguyen Thien Nyana and Rosatom general director Sergei Kiriyenko have signed a memorandum of intent for nuclear industry training in Vietnam, Rosatom has reported.

The memorandum provides for cooperation in nuclear education and research, and managing nuclear technologies.

Rosatom said that after the official visit of Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Russia in December 2009, Vietnam decided to build the first Vietnamese plant 'using Russian expertise.' It quoted Nguyen as saying that the purpose of his visit was to discuss the 'prospects' of nuclear power plant construction and training.

Sergey Kondratiev of the Russian Institute for Energy and Finance said that the Vietnamese contract is under severe competition, particularly from the Koreans.

However, Vietnam also signed an MOU with the United States in late March, which US ambassador Michael Michalak said might lead to a 123 agreement allowing US companies to supply the country.

Press reports also suggest that Japanese companies are also courting the country.

Vietnam promulgated a policy to build nuclear power plants in November 2009, according to Malaysian news agency Bernama.

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