Vietnam will start the construction of a nuclear technology center, possibly in the Central Highlands, which will cost half a billion dollars in two years, an atomic energy official told Tuoi Tre on Thursday.
The Ministry of Science and Technology has been assigned to steer a project to build the Nuclear Science and Technology Center with consultation from Russian experts, Tran Chi Thanh, director of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, said at a conference on nuclear technology in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
Funding will come from loans worth US$500 million provided by the Russian government, Thanh said, adding that feasibility studies and site selection are under way.
“Work on the project will probably begin in late 2015, under favorable conditions, and we have proposed building it in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat,” Thanh said.
Thanh lamented that Vietnam has not paid proper attention to the training of skilled workers for the nuclear power sector even though it aims to develop nuclear power plants in the central region.
There are no nuclear power experts, nor is there a specific strategy for training personnel for this industry at the moment, he pointed out, suggesting that the government should invest more in science and technology in order for the vision of nuclear power to be realized.
The Vietnamese government has approved a plan to put five nuclear power plants into operation in the central region between 2020 and 2030, given forecasts that the country will face a serious shortage of power by 2020.
Construction of the first two plants is expected to begin late next year and be completed by 2022, with power starting to be generated in late 2020.
Vietnam has decided to use Russian technology for the first facility and Japanese expertise for the other.