No energy source to replace nuclear power in Vietnam: deputy PM

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Studies so far have showed that primary energy sources aren't sufficient to replace nuclear power in meeting Vietnam's electricity needs, the country's deputy prime minister told the press on Friday.


With Vietnam's current plans to develop the national grid as well as other development plans, it's impossible for the country to have enough power from non-nuclear energy sources by 2030, or even by 2050, Hoang Trung Hai said on the sidelines of the National Assembly sitting Friday.


Solutions like importing electricity, enhancing hydropower and importing coal have also been considered, but all are "very difficult," he added.


However, the country will continue studying and developing available primary energy sources, because it can help decrease part of the demand for nuclear power, he said.


Hai said that even though Vietnam has decided on building nuclear power plans, it won't start on them until all safety measures are guaranteed.


Vietnam is still conducting feasibility studies on nuclear power plans, which allows the country to take all safety factors into consideration under international standards, he said.


Since the Fukushima disaster in Japan following the massive earthquake and tsunami in March, the whole world has engaged in a lot of discussions about safety measures for nuclear power plants, he said.


"Safety measures for nuclear power are no longer a national issue, but one that concerns humanity as a whole," Hai said.


Asked what if investment for nuclear power would surge with additional safety measures, the deputy prime minister said until the plan is completed, it is still unknown if it will be costlier or more feasible, or which bank will grant loans.



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Besides seeking alternative energy sources to meet the demand, Hai said, energy savings is also a solution, given that Vietnam's electricity generating technologies are still not advanced.


If everyone thinks about how to limit the use of nuclear power, "the most practical thing they can do is to save energy," Hai said.


Last October, Vietnam signed a multi-billion-dollar deal with Russia to build its first nuclear power plant, which is expected to go into operation in 2020. Vietnam also plans to cooperate with Japan on two other nuclear reactors.


Eight nuclear plants are slated to go into operation by 2031.


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