VIETNAM MULLS RETURN TO NUCLEAR ENERGY AFTER 2035
Vietnam is seeking a return to nuclear power after 2035 amid warnings that dwindling natural resources could lead to electricity shortages.
A draft power plan by the Ministry of Industry and Trade envisages building nuclear power plants with a capacity of 1,000 MW by 2040 and 5,000 MW by 2045.
The Vietnam Energy Association recently exhorted the government to reconsider nuclear power.
In 2009 Vietnam had planned to build two nuclear power plants in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan at a cost of several billion dollars, but the National Assembly shot down the proposal in 2016 on cost grounds.
Nguyen Quan, former Minister of Science and Technology, had warned in 2018 that traditional energy sources were dwindling, posing a need to look at alternative sources like nuclear power.
In its plan, for 2021-30, the ministry also rules out building coal-fired power plants after 2030, instead prioritizing renewables and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
It has warned of power shortages between 2021 and 2025 after construction of new thermal and gas-fired plants fell behind schedule.
Coal plants accounted for 36.1 percent of electricity supply last year, followed by hydropower at 30.8 percent, according to the Vietnam Energy Association.