Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has reaffirmed Vietnam's determination to build a nuclear power plant because the country is due to experience serious power shortages in the next decade.
"We are determined to develop nuclear power into electricity. There will be not [enough] electricity without nuclear power. It is calculated that Vietnam will face a serious power shortage by 2020," he said at a meeting on January 11 held by the Ministry of Science and Technology to review its 2011 operation.
Dung instructed the science ministry to complete legal documents and commit human resources to construct the first nuclear power plant in Southeast Asia.
"Withour ensuring personal resource, Vietnam will be unable to proceed with nuclear power or manage to do it but unsafely," VnExpress quoted Dung as saying.
According to Dung, the legal documents are being drafted with references from other countries and assistance from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He said Russia has agreed to give loans of US$10.5 billion, including $8 billion for building nuclear energy, $500 million for the Nuclear Research Center and the rest for relevant investment, in addition to ODA loans from Japan.
"We have regulations and capital and the world has technology. Vietnam is able to choose the most advanced technology," he said.
Vuong Huu Tan, director of Vietnam Atomic Institute, said the institute is preparing a general plan for nuclear energy infrastructure. He added that there should be policies aimed at attracting the most talented scientists into the project.
Vietnam plans to build its first nuclear energy plant in Ninh Thuan with two reactors and 4,000 MW in capacity. Construction of the first reactor is expected to break ground in 2014 and generate electricity by 2020.