France promises to give Vietnam safest nuclear reactor

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A model of the Atmea-1 reactor built by France and Japan that has been tested and proven safe in extreme conditions. The two nations have agreed to build a nuclear power plant Vietnam.

France, which will build Vietnam's second nuclear power plant together with Japan, has promised to bring the most modern reactor technologies to make the plant very safe.

Bernard Bigot, chairman of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, told correspondents at a recent nuclear power exhibition in Hanoi that there would be no widespread radiation leak from the plant even in the worst possible situation.

It would be the generation 3+ Atmea-1 reactor with a 1,100 megawatt capacity, a joint French-Japanese product that has proven to be safe, including in conditions similar to Fukushima, he said at the International Exhibition on Nuclear Power held from October 25 to 27.

The reactor passed an 18-month trial earlier this year.

France would also train Vietnam personnel so that the country can manage it for at least 100 years -- including 60 to 70 years of operation and around 30 years required to dismantle the reactors and clean up the environment -- he said.

France would share with Vietnam its experience of at least 35 years of nuclear development, he said.

Nuclear power accounts for 75 percent of power supply in France.

France has no plan to reduce its nuclear power production since it needs the energy and knows how to deal with it safely, he said.

Without its 58 nuclear power reactors, France would have to depend on fossil energy imports for 92 percent of its energy needs, an expensive proposition, he said.


He said the Vietnam government should make all details of the nuclear power development plans public and transparent to win the trust and support of the people from the beginning.

Vietnam plans to build two nuclear power plants in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan. Russia will build the other one.

The government plans to increase the share of nuclear power to 11 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2050.

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