Withdrawal of Japanese firm won't affect Vietnam's 2nd nuclear plant

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A Vietnamese official has said that Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) decision to back out from the project will not delay progress on Vietnam's second nuclear power facility, Tuoi Tre reported Saturday.

Pham Minh Tuan, chief of the nuclear power department under the state utility Electricity of Vietnam, said TEPCO is "just" one member of the International Nuclear Energy Development of Japan Co. (JINED), which the Japanese government assigned to consult Vietnam regarding the construction of its second nuclear power plant.

Neither TEPCO or JINED have yet to be named as the project's official contractor, Tuan was quoted as saying.

According to Tuan, he learned of TEPCO's withdrawal through media reports.

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Vietnam's second nuclear power plant, to be built in the central province of Ninh Thuan, was expected to become operational in 2020 along with the first one, also in the same province.

Construction on Vietnam's first nuclear power plant will start in 2014 with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, or "Rosatom," as its contractor.

Vietnam plans to build a total of 13 nuclear plants across the country over the next two decades which would have a total capacity of 16,000 MW.

TEPCO operates the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was crippled by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last March 11, leading to one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

Ever since, the company has suffered huge losses, and was finally nationalized this month.

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