HANOI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The construction of the first nuclear power plant in Vietnam is likely to be delayed until 2020 instead of its previous schedule in 2014.
Le Tuan Phong, deputy director general of the general directorate of energy under Vietnam's ministry of trade and industry (MoIT), said on Tuoitre (the Youth) online newspaper on Friday that in order to ensure the safety and efficient exploitation of the nuclear power plant, the MoIT is considering to propose the government to postpone the project.
An examination report by the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) committee on science, technology and environment over the implementation of national key projects revealed that the construction of Ninh Thuan 1 plant is likely to be three years later than scheduled.
Earlier on Wednesday during a conference on implementing tasks for Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) in 2014 in Hanoi, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the group to ensure the supply of gas for the operation of the 5,000 MW electric stations to replace the expected 4,000 MW from nuclear power, as the construction of the Ninh Thuan 1 could be postponed, reported local online VNEconomy.
Nguyen Cuong Lam, deputy director of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and director of the management board of the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant, told Tuoitre on Friday that the project of Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant was not mentioned in the list of national power projects to be operated in 2020 as approved by the prime minister in late 2013.
According to the NA's committee on science, technology and environment, in 2009, Vietnam's NA approved the roadmap for the construction of Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear powper plant in Ninh Thuan province, some 1,100 km south of capital Hanoi. The project was scheduled to start in 2014 and to be commissioned by 2020.
However, the committee said that in 2014, the Ninh Thuan 1 project can only start with construction of infrastructure items including roads, electricity and water supply. The construction of reactors can only be started at the end of 2017 and early 2018 when the technical designs of the plant are approved and licensed.
Do Manh Hung, deputy chairman of NA's committee on social issues told Tuoitre on Friday, quoting the information delivered by the MoIT that the slow progress of the project was attributed to the issues arising in the process of site selection which prolonged the approval of location to over two years.
Tuoitre also quoted Do Huu Nghi, vice chairman of Ninh Thuan provincial people's committee as saying that so far, there is no specific location for the construction of the Ninh Thuan 1, therefore the work of resident relocation is still suspended.
Earlier, during the visit of Yukiya Amano, general director of IAEA to Ninh Thuan in Jan. 10, the IAEA chief said there should be good preparation for safety, security and sustainability of the construction of the nuclear power plant and the country should not be hurried.
Ninh Thuan 1, set to be Vietnam's first nuclear power plant, is to be built in collaboration with Russian company Atomstroyexport.