China turns deaf ear to Vietnam’s concern over border nuclear plants

China is yet to reply to Vietnam’s request to establish an information exchange after the former put three nuclear power plants into operation near the two countries' border

A map detailing the locations of three Chinese nuclear power plants constructed near Vietnam’s border

China is yet to reply to Vietnam’s request to establish an information exchange after the former put three nuclear power plants into operation near the two countries' border, potentially compromising the environment and health of local residents.

Vietnamese authorities have sent a request directly to their Chinese counterparts and indirectly via the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nguyen Tuan Khai, head of the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, said during a regular press conference of the Ministry of Science and Technology on Monday.

However, no official response from China has been announced so far, Khai added.

The issue was also addressed during the visit to Vietnam of the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology in December last year, who promised to report the matter to his country’s ministry of environmental protection, the Vietnamese official continued.

The three factories include Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangxi, Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant in Hainan Province, and Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong Province.

Fangchenggang is 50 kilometers from the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, while Changjiang lies 100 kilometers off Vietnam’s Bach Long Vi Island in the Gulf of Tokin.

The farthest among the three, Yangjiang, is 200 kilometers from the Vietnam border.

Concerned about the impact of the power plants, the People’s Committee in Quang Ninh previously suggested that the province’s radiation monitoring station be improved from a local to a full-scale operation.

Nguyen Hao Quang, an official from the Ministry of Science and Technology, considered the action unnecessary as the current station in Quang Ninh is sufficient for warning and dealing with potential radiological emergency from outside the country.

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