The Hanoitimes - The new facility, scheduled to start operation in 2026, is planned to serve diverse needs, such as education, training, radioisotope production and materials sciences.
As part of its preparations for a new multipurpose nuclear research reactor, Vietnam hosted an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review for Research Reactors (INIR-RR) mission to identify improvements needed for a successful and sustainable development of the project, stated IAEA in a statement.
The mission provided guidance for Vietnam on the preparation of a research reactor project by addressing 19 issues ranging from nuclear safety and security to the fuel cycle, waste management, and funding and financing.
Da Lat nuclear research reactor.
The Vietnam delegation, headed by Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac, provided a number of documents to facilitate the assessment of the nuclear national infrastructure developed in preparation for a new research reactor project, which is planned to start operation in 2026.
The new facility is planned to serve diverse needs, such as in education, training, radioisotope production and materials sciences.
“Vietnam has demonstrated strong government support and understanding of long term national commitments for developing the nuclear infrastructure for the new research reactor,” said Andrey Sitnikov, who led the IAEA review that took place in Hanoi from December 3 to 7.
“We noted that Vietnam has adopted a holistic approach to this project, to ensure effective use of resources in developing infrastructure for the proposed multipurpose research reactor,” Sitnikov added.
According to the IAEA, operation of a research reactor requires a national infrastructure - including a legal and regulatory framework - to ensure that national and international obligations are met during planning, design, construction, operation and decommissioning.
Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom signed an agreement in June 2017 with Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology to establish the Centre for Nuclear Energy Science & Technology under the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VinAtom). This will be based in Hanoi but have facilities in both the south and north of the country. An early project is to build a new 15 MW research reactor.
Da Lat Nuclear Reactor is the country’s only nuclear research reactor to date, and located in Da Lat city in the Central Highlands Lam Dong province. For over 50 years of operation, the reactor’s main purpose is training, radioisotope production, neutron activation analysis and basic research.