The Vietnamese government has approved the launch of a feasibility study that could pave the way for the country's first nuclear power plant to be commissioned by 2019.
The study, due to be completed by next year and then submitted to the country's national assembly for approval, is expected to consider two possible scenarios. Vietnamese energy experts said the first scenario would be based on a need to have 30GWe of installed capacity by 2020 - including 4GWe of coal, 10GWe of hydropower, and 1.2GWe of nuclear. This would mean commissioning a unit in 2019.
The second scenario, based on Vietnam needing 35GWe of installed capacity, would see the additional capacity provided by a mixture of nuclear (3GWe) and coal. In this case, experts said the new unit should be commissioned in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Russian government has approved a draft agreement with Vietnam providing for Russian involvement in research in the field of design, construction, and operation of nuclear power plants in Vietnam.
The draft agreement, to be ratified and signed on Russia's behalf by Minatom, includes Russian assistance in ensuring the safe operation of Vietnam's Da Lat research reactor, prospecting and exploitation of uranium deposits, and radwaste management. Vietnam would also guarantee that no Russian-supplied materials and technology would be used for any military purpose.
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