VietNamNet Bridge – There was a low possibility of a tsunami hitting the southern central province of Ninh Thuan that could threaten prospective sites of nuclear power plants planned for construction over the next two years, said vice president of the Viet Nam Association of Geophysicists under the Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Association's, Cao Dinh Trieu.

Speaking at a workshop on Monday to assess the impacts of tsunamis on nuclear power plants, Trieu said that Ninh Thuan had relatively stable geology and earthquakes and tsunamis were rare.

He said that the only earthquakes recorded in the area had registered less than three on the Richter scale and had caused minimal inconvenience to local people.

Responding to concerns regarding a slip fault in the East Sea around 80-100km away from the prospective sites, Trieu said that it was unlikely that a slip fault would cause a tsunami.

"If seismic activity did occur, it would cause a tsunami of less than five metres high," he said.

"In the worst case scenario, six faults in Filipino waters could create a wave that would hit Viet Nam two hours later between Quang Ngai Province and Da Nang City," he added.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year, the construction of nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan Province will all be at least 15m above sea level instead of five metres as previously designed.

Also present at the workshop, organised by the association and provincial People's Committee, other geologists helped local authorities and members of the public to understand more about natural disasters and their potential impacts on nuclear power plants.

According to deputy head of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant project management board Nguyen Manh Hung, reports on the feasibility of the two nuclear power plants – the first of their kind in Viet Nam – would be completed next year so that the construction could begin in 2014.

Viet Nam plans to build eight nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Ha Tinh and Quang Ngai by 2030. The plants are expected to have a total capacity of 15,000-16,000MW.

Source: VNS