A delegation from Russia's state energy committee on Saturday visited Vietnam's first nuclear power plant project, to which the country has pledged to provide loans and technology.
Sergei Levchenko, vice chairman of State Duma Committee for Energy who led the delegation, asked the managers of the plant in the south central province of Ninh Thuan to complete all preparations necessary for the project to be implemented, Vietnam News Agency reported.
He asked for a strict assessment of the environmental impacts the plant will cause before it is built, as well as a detailed plan for providing accommodation for workers and experts during its construction.
The managers should also concentrate on necessary cooling measures for the uranium that will be used to fuel the plant, as well as many other safety issues concerning its operation.
Vietnam has partnered with Russia to help with building its first nuclear power plant, Ninh Thuan 1. Along with providing funding and technology, Russia's support will also include setting up a national program to deal with treating waste discharged by the plant.
The plant will use third-generation technology, which heats nuclear fuel in isolation in a way that prevents emissions from escaping the reactor.
Sergey A. Boyarkin of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation told Thanh Nien earlier that the Fukushima power plant used second-generation reactors.
He said if it had used third-generation technology, the plant would not have leaked emissions when it was struck by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
The Ninh Thuan project is in its second phase preparations for construction and research into feasibility which will culminate with bid invitations for a builder.
During the first phase the plant was conceived; the third phase will be constructing it.
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency visited the plant last month to help with the completion of its infrastructure.
News website VnExpress quoted Park Jong Kyun, the agency's nuclear power department director, as saying Vietnam has made a lot of improvements since 2009 when the agency last sent experts to observe the initial progress of the program.
But Hoang Anh Tuan, deputy head of Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency, said the project has yet to meet requirements in terms of choosing an appropriate location, recruiting enough qualified experts who will be needed to manage the plant, or fulfilling legal safety standards.
Vietnam plans to build two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan. Japan and France have signed contracts to help with the second one.
The Vietnamese government plans to use nuclear power to provide 11 percent of the country's electricity by 2025 and 30 percent by 2050.
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