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Promoting civil nuclear development cooperation

SATurday - 06/09/2014 11:44 - Viewed: 1018

The Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS) under the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Lightbridge Corporation (USA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Hanoi to promote comprehensive cooperation in the field of radiation and nuclear safety for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. This event marked the official entry of US businesses into the Vietnamese nuclear power market after the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Vietnam.

Lightbridge Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Seth Grae said that the approval of the US-Vietnam cooperation agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, known as the 123 Agreement, marked an important milestone in bilateral relations between the two countries in the field of civil nuclear cooperation. In his opinion, the signing of this MOU between the Lightbridge Corporation and VARANS will help Vietnam get ready for developing necessary energy resources to promote future economic growth and ensure energy security.
The Vietnamese nuclear power market is wide open to US businesses. Vietnam has stated its intention to supply more than 10 percent of the national demand for electricity in the form of nuclear power by 2030. “Commercial nuclear energy opportunities in Vietnam are estimated at US$10 billion and are expected to grow to US$50 billion by 2030, according to US Department of Commerce estimates,” Seth Grae said.

According to Associate Professor, Dr. Vuong Huu Tan, VARANS Director General, the US is the eighth among countries with which Vietnam has signed cooperation agreements in the field of civil nuclear development. The other seven countries include Russia, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, France, India and Argentina. The US has an advanced nuclear industry. Therefore, the cooperation with the US and US businesses in particular will bring Vietnam opportunities to access modern technologies as well as necessary legal bases to develop nuclear power.
Regarding the nuclear power market, Dr. Vuong Huu Tan said that in the East Asian region, Japan currently had more than 50 nuclear power plants and the Republic of Korea had 20. Under a nuclear power development plan of the Vietnamese government, Vietnam will have 10 nuclear power plants with total capacity of 10,700MW by 2030, and nuclear power will possibly account for 20-50 percent of Vietnam’s total electricity output by 2050. So, in his opinion, there are many prospects for the Vietnamese nuclear power market to develop.
Under the MOU, the Lightbridge Corporation will help VARANS improve the legal framework for radiation and nuclear safety and accelerate the construction of Vietnam’s first two nuclear power plants. Specifically, the corporation will provide the agency with support in six areas: 1) furtherance of the legal and regulatory infrastructure for radiation and nuclear safety; 2) further development of the integrated quality management system; 3) main nuclear regulatory activities, including reviews and assessments, licensing and authorization, inspection, enforcement and the very important area of training; 4) administration and finance, including human resources, document control, and license fees and billing; 5) international and governmental affairs, including the very important area of transparency and public information; and 6) nuclear safeguards and security, and regulatory activities for import and export of nuclear and radioactive materials.

Source: tietkiemnangluong.com.vn