Int'l nuclear experts check Vietnam's preparations for first plant

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Workers drilling in Ninh Thuan Province as part of geological check for the location of Vietnam's first nuclear power plant.

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency were in Vietnam from December 6-16 to help the country complete the infrastructure on its first nuclear power plant.

News website VnExpress quoted Park Jong Kyun, the agency's nuclear power department director, as saying the visit aimed to check Vietnam's preparations in its nuclear power program and recommend steps the country needs to take.

Kyun said Vietnam has made a lot of improvements since 2009 when the agency had sent experts to observe the initial progress of the program located in the south central province of Ninh Thuan.

The experts said Vietnam is in the second stage of the three-phase process to develop the infrastructure for a nuclear power plant preparations for construction and research into its practicality which will culminate with bid invitations for a builder.

First phase is considering the plant and third phase is construction.

Hoang Anh Tuan, deputy head of Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency, said Vietnam has not yet met requirements in terms of assessing the location, having enough number of qualified experts needed to manage the plant, or fulfilling legal obligations concerning safety.

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

Japan and France have signed contracts to help with the second one while Russia is expected to build the first one, as the country is already helping Vietnam with funding and personnel training.

The Vietnamese government plans use nuclear power to provide 11 percent of the country's electricity by 2025 and 30 percent by 2050.

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