Lawmakers ask for careful study of nuclear risks

TN News

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Vietnamese lawmakers urged the government to carefully consider the risks involved in the country's plan to build eight nuclear power plants.

 

The request came during a National Assembly meeting held Saturday in Hanoi.

 

Assemblywoman Dang Thi My Huong from the central province of Ninh Thuan said that news about a partial meldown at a Japanese nuclear plant and a recent tremor off the province's coast have given rise to public concern about the plan.

 

Ninh Thuan is slated to be the site of the nation's first nuclear power plant and Huong has asked the government to provide public updates on the project's progress to calm those concerned.

 

Nguyen Minh Thuyet, a representative from the northern province of Lang Son, agreed.

 

He said he had recently heard that the Russian-owned Rosatom Corp., Vietnam's partner in the project of the first plant, has pointed out disadvantages in the plants' proposed locations.

 

Thuyet said there were concerns that the plants would be located too close to offshore fault lines, making them suceptible to possible tsunamis, or on crusts where earthquakes start.

 

"I suggest that the government's agencies study [the risks] very carefully," he said.

 

Last Wednesday, following explosions and fires at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology held a press conference to announce that the country's nuclear plans wouldn't be affected.

 

Local officials and scientists pledged that any facilities built inside the country would include the latest safety features informed by the catastrophe in Japan.

 

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.

 

Vietham 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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