Vietnam's legislature on 22 November endorsed by majority vote a government resolution to cancel plans to build NPPs with Japanese and Russian assistance. In 2009, the assembly had approved the government's plans to build four nuclear power reactors, two each at two plants in the central province of Ninh Thuan with a total capacity of 4,000MWe. The contracts were awarded to Japan and Russia, at a total cost of around $8.9bn, according to the initial plans.
However, the plans were delayed after the government ordered relevant agencies to review safety measures following the Fukushima accident in 2011. Vietnam is also facing a chronic financial deficit partly due to a shortfall in tax revenue. The delays had significantly increased the estimated cost of the project.
The decision to scrap the project is due to the current economic situation, according to the Chairman of the Government Office, Mai Ti?n Dung. He said the development of the national macro-economy has undergone many changes since the project was adopted. Now there are not only ways to save power, there is also the possibility of trading power with neighbouring states, including Laos. In addition, renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, have become more economically feasible in the past five years.
"Vietnam is also in dire need of capital to build a synchronised and modern infrastructure system and tackle problems due to climate change," Dung said, emphasising that the cancellation was not due to technological problems. The decision would not affect the power supply as production of other kinds of electricity would be increased, including renewable electricity, and electricity generated from liquefied natural gas.