Nukewatch Quarterly Winter 2016-2017
Vietnam’s National Assembly voted Nov. 22 to cancel plans to build the country’s first nuclear power reactors. Officials cited lower electric demand forecasts, rising reactor costs, and safety concerns.
The Japanese and Russian reactors were to have been built on the coast of Ninh Thuan province, but after weighing reactor risks in the wake of the catastrophic accident at Fukushima, Vietnam moved the planned construction site slightly inland to avoid the threat of future tsunamis. The operational start for the reactors, initially set for 2014, had been postponed to 2028.
Russia’s state-run Rosatom Corp. and a consortium of Japanese companies led by the private utility Japan Atomic Power had planned to build the two reactors. The estimated cost had doubled since 2009—when the government first approved the plans—to nearly $18 billion.
Vietnam’s decision to stay free of construction cost increases, reactor disaster risks, and additional waste management expenses, echoes that of other countries from Germany to Indonesia that have decided to either phase out of nuclear or cancel construction plans.
—Reuters, Nov. 22; Japan News, Nov. 10, 2016