Vietnam goes for nuclear power

Nguyen Tuan Khai, director general of the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, talks to Lao động cuối tuần (Weekend Labour) newspaper about his agency’s capacity to operate a nuclear power plant.

Vietnam goes for nuclear power
The Da Lat Nulear Research Institute in Lam Dong Province. -- Photo vnexpress.net

What are the advantages and disadvantages of project VN3.01/13 on strengthening the capacity and effectiveness of the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety?

Project VN3.01/13 is in its second phase.

The first phase of the project was carried out from 2012-2015 with financial support from the European Union. In the second phase, the project will receive the funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology in addition to the financial support from the European Union. In this second phase, we’ll continue to receive financial support from the EU and technical assistance from the European Agency –RISKAUDIT and technical agencies from France, Germany, Finland and Belgium. This is a very good opportunity for staff from the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety to learn and share their knowledge and experience with foreign experts.

The second phase will include seminars and workshops to strengthen the capacity of Vietnamese workers.

Has the agency faced any challenges in implementing the project?

The development and completion of a legal document on nuclear safety is a challenge for my agency. This task is new to us. Adding to that, nuclear safety is a rather new area for Vietnam while we have a big shortage of human resources in the fields of physics, nuclear technology, hydrothermal, materials and others.

That’s why in the first phase of the project, our staff faced certain difficulties and challenges in the course of learning from foreign experts. Other challenges I should mention is our mission to develop an integration management system (IMS) – a very important task for the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety. I hope with support from the EC experts, we’ll accomplish the tasks we've been assigned to and the project’s objectives to develop a core system, support system and management system.

What achievements did the agency make in the first phase of the project?

 

We managed to achieve alI the targets set in the first three years of the project.

The project was launched in May 2016 when Vietnam was in the process of preparing for the construction of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant. However, in November, the National Assembly passed Resolution No.31 to suspend the project. That’s why now we are discussing amendments with the European Union to focus on areas of safety and responses to accidents that might occur.

With support from European experts, we have completed important draft legal documents governing the building and operation of nuclear reactors, the management of nuclear waste and others. In June 2017, the Prime Minister signed Decision No.884 on how to deal with an accident at a nuclear power plant. In my opinion, this is a big contribution from the project towards the management of a future nuclear power plant in Vietnam.

Through this project, staff from the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety have gained good knowledge and improved their capacity in appraising the safety ratio of a nuclear power plant to international standards.

I’m very glad to say that our European counterparts have reiterated that they would continue to co-operate with Vietnam in the field of nuclear power development.

VNS

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