- Title: Vietnam abandons plan for first nuclear power plants
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: HANOI, VIETNAM (NOVEMBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) GOVERNMENT NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS SOUNDBITE (Vietnamese) VIETNAM'S GOVERNMENT OFFICE HEAD, MAI TIEN DUNG, SAYING: "The reason these two projects are being cancelled is purely economical. We chose to invest in projects with high priority; those are road infrastructure development projects that could help boost the economy of the whole country. It is not because of safety reasons, nor technology reasons."
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 13:26
- Keywords: Vietnam Hanoi nuclear power National Assembly
- Location: HANOI, VIETNAM
- City: HANOI, VIETNAM
- Country: Vietnam
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00259IZGHX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Vietnam's National Assembly voted on Tuesday (November 22) to scrap plans to build two multi-billion-dollar nuclear power plants with Russia and Japan, after officials cited lower demand forecasts and rising costs.
The Vietnamese government said in a statement that the decision, made in a closed session of parliament after discussion of a government proposal, was taken for economic reasons and not because of any technological considerations.
"The reason these two projects are being cancelled is purely economic. We chose to invest in projects with high priority," he said during a news conference," said Vietnam's Government Office Head Mai Tien Dung.
The estimated investment needed for the projects had doubled since 2009 to nearly 400 trillion dong ($18 billion), state media Tien Phong quoted Le Hong Tinh, vice chairman of the National Assembly's science, technology and environment commission, as saying earlier this month.
The government is fiscally strapped as public debt lingers near the permitted limit, curbing its ability to maintain Vietnam as one of Asia's fastest-growing economies through spending.
When the government approved plans for the two plants in 2009, awarding construction to Russia's Rosatom and a consortium of Japanese firms led by private utility Japan Atomic Power, growth in Vietnam's annual power demand was projected at 17-20 percent.
Vietnam's decision to scrap the project is a further setback for the nuclear industry as countries from Germany to Indonesia have decided to either pull out of nuclear energy or cancel development plans in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, the world's worst since Chernobyl in 1986.
The Japanese and Russian nuclear plants were due to have been located in central Ninh Thuan province. They would have had a combined capacity of 4,000 megawatts.
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