Russia eyes SE Asia nuclear power plant development

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Russia aims to help Southeast Asian countries build nuclear power plants and develop its safe use in the fast-growing region, officials said on Tuesday.

Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation, or ROSATOM, would cooperate with the ASEAN Centre for Energy to organize a seminar in Hanoi in September to introduce officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the safe use of nuclear power, a draft to the Russia-ASEAN official meeting said.

Several countries in the 10-member ASEAN such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia have plans or have decided to move forward to build nuclear power plants to offset electricity shortages.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) updated its 2010 growth forecasts for 45 economies in Developing Asia, which spans the Pacific to Central Asia, with growth now seen at 7.9 percent, up from an earlier forecast of 7.5 percent.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) had said that ASEAN would see an average annual increase of 2.5 percent in its primary energy demand until 2030.

Vietnam plans to start building its first nuclear power plant in 2014 using Russian technology, a state-run newspaper reported in June.

ROSATOM is among several foreign firms, which included Westinghouse Electric, a unit of Japan's Toshiba, France's EDF and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, to have been courting Vietnam to help build nuclear power plants.

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