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May 31, 2022 / 17:31

Vietnam may consider nuclear energy for sustainable growth

Vietnam to further develop clean energy to realize its 2050 net-zero emission target.

Nuclear energy is seen as one option for Vietnam as it would serve as the basis for later development of renewables such as solar and wind power, and realize the country’s commitment to net-zero emission by 2050  made at the COP26.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien said at a National Assembly discussion on May 30.

 Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien. Source:

According to Dien, the world is now returning to nuclear power to ensure sufficient energy supply given the skyrocketing price of oil. He referred to the US and Germany, two countries that had decided to move away from nuclear energy three years ago, but now reverse the plan due to ongoing geopolitical tension and the fact that this could be the platform to promote renewable development.

He added Vietnam needs to further develop clean energy to realize the 2050 target, but this would require a steady source of energy.

“In this case, nuclear energy is seen as cheap, clean, and suitable,” Dien said.

“The present circumstance leaves no room for coal power development, while options for hydropower have also been exhausted. For Vietnam to realize its commitments in COP26, renewable energy is a must,” he added.

Vietnam’s first and only nuclear power project in the central coast province of Ninh Thuan was suspended in 2016 due to limited financial resources. Vietnam's then Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung at that time noted the country had to prioritize key and modern infrastructure systems and tackle issues from climate change. 

However, in a recent study, the Economic Committee under the National Assembly has proposed to reconsider this option during the next energy development phase, to realize the net-zero carbon emission goal by 2050.

The committee also proposed to keep the planning process for the location of the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plants No.1 and 2 before making a decision on the issue.

 National Assembly Deputy Truong Trong Nghia.

In the discussion session, however, Deputy Truong Trong Nghia suggested removing the planning for the location of the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant, citing a decision by the National Assembly to suspend the construction of the plant in 2016.

He noted Japan is still struggling with the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since the incident 10 years ago, so for Vietnam, the risk would be high due to the limited capacity in nuclear energy management.

In response, Minister Dien said the legislative body voted on a resolution to suspend, not to cancel the project, keeping the door open for the resumption of the Ninh Thuan nuclear plant project.