Vietnam Looks to Japan for Nuclear Power Additions

In the face of rapid economic development and ever-increasing demand for electricity, small countries such as Vietnam and other emerging markets are increasingly looking to nuclear power. On September 28, 2011, Vietnam signed an agreement with Japan Atomic Power Co., a consortium of Japan’s top electricity generation companies, to complete a feasibility study for two nuclear reactors. Each reactor will produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity, and Vietnam hopes to begin construction sometime in the early 2020’s. Preliminary research indicates that the planned project is sound.[1]

Youichi Nonaka, a managing director at Japan Atomic Power, told reporters, “We’ve received only positive feedback from Vietnam, which has told us it’s very anxious to get things underway,”[2]

Toshiba’s delegation meets with Vietnamese Science and Technology Minister Nguyen Quan (photo taken by Nga Anh).

These planned Japanese reactors are only two of 13 nuclear additions planned by the Vietnamese government, with a total capacity of 15,000 megawatts by 2030 (Construction on two Russian reactors is already underway). Vietnam’s efforts to add nuclear reactors into its electricity generation mix may signal the beginning of a larger trend toward nuclear power in Southeast Asia. The Australian reported on November 1, 2011 that India is also seeking Japanese nuclear technology to meet its growing power demands.[3]