The National Assembly Economic Committee (NAEC) of Vietnam called upon its government to push through with plans to construct two nuclear power plants. NAEC officials included these nuclear initiatives in its report to the most recent session of Vietnam’s 15th National Assembly.
According to Committee members, planning issues, specifically compensation for locals forced to relocate due to the impending development, remain in abeyance even though the projects have halted.
They reported that some landowners within the affected areas complained that their rights to use their holdings had been restricted although the development of the nuclear plants has been on hold for nearly six years.
The Road to Net-Zero
NAEC members opine that nuclear power needs to be a key element in the country’s long-term plans for power development, particularly within the context of achieving a carbon-free economy by 2050.
During the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow last November, Vietnam was one of the countries that committed to net-zero emission goals.
The Committee also pointed out that Vietnam has inked numerous agreements with other countries, particularly Russia and Japan, for nuclear power development and the peaceful use of nuclear energy for commerce and industry.
They added that canceling the Ninh Thuan projects would compromise the country’s potential for further nuclear development, as well as its cooperative relations with other nations.
Projects in the Balance
The plans for the Ninh Thuan power plants were originally approved by the National Assembly in 2009 but were suspended in 2016 due to economic constraints.
However, neither the executive branch of the Vietnamese government nor the Ministry of Industry and Trade has made any final moves to cancel the nuclear initiative altogether. Likewise, no plans have been announced regarding the use of allocated land for other projects.
According to Nguyen Hong Dien, minister for industry and trade, the National Assembly voted to cancel the nuclear project but not terminate it. He added that the ministry and its partners from different sectors have made a thorough study regarding the study and confirmed that Ninh Thuan was the most suitable location in the country for nuclear energy development.
The minister reminded the National Assembly that developing nuclear power resources is something that many nations are seriously considering. He said it is relevant in achieving the shared goal of carbon neutrality. He added that for the sake of the environment, Vietnam can no longer develop more coal-fired plants and has already maximized the potential of its hydropower resources.