A team of international experts, who reviewed Vietnam's programme for introducing nuclear power, found that it enjoyed strong government support. The experts also recognized the significant progress achieved, including the active preparation for the construction of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Project. The experts, assembled at Vietnam's request by the IAEA, conducted an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Vietnam from 5 to 14 December 2012.
"The IAEA INIR Mission's recommendations and suggestions are valuable to Vietnam as a newcomer in nuclear power. We will study and report those recommendations and suggestions to the Government as well as to the National Assembly," said Nghiem Vu Khai, Vice Minister of Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology.
INIR missions are designed to assist IAEA Member States to assess the status of their national infrastructure for the introduction of nuclear power. The INIR mission team consists of IAEA staff and international experts.
The IAEA has developed guidelines and milestones to help countries work in a systematic way towards the introduction of nuclear power and ensure that the infrastructure required for the safe, responsible and sustainable use of nuclear technology is developed and implemented. There are three programme phases of development; the completion of each of these phases is marked by a specific "milestone" at which the progress of the development effort can be assessed. The INIR mission reinforces continual improvement in the planning process, identifying gaps, focusing resources in national action plans, and contributing to confidence building by reviewing the infrastructure status at or near a Milestone.
"The INIR mission team made recommendations and suggestions to assist the national authorities in developing the infrastructure necessary to implement the nuclear power programme," said Jong Kyun Park, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power and INIR Mission team leader. "We also recognised that Vietnam has a clear understanding of the issues it has to address."
Nuclear Power Programme History
Vietnam began considering nuclear power in the 1980s, and the government approved the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Projects in 2009. Vietnam concluded an Intergovernmental Agreement with Russia in 2010 and an Intergovernmental Arrangement with Japan in 2011, for the construction of nuclear power plants at different sites in Ninh Thuan province. The Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Project is meant to provide electricity to meet Vietnam's projected energy needs.
The December 2012 INIR Mission to Vietnam is the eighth IAEA INIR Mission, and follows the initial INIR Mission to Vietnam, conducted in 2009. The 2012 Vietnam INIR Mission was conducted under an IAEA Technical Cooperation project.
Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review
Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Missions provide IAEA Member State representatives with an opportunity to have in-depth discussions with international experts about experiences and best practices in different countries. In developing its recommendations, the INIR team takes into account the comments made by the relevant national Organizations. Implementation of any of the team's recommendations is at the discretion of the Member State requesting the mission. The results of the INIR mission are expected to help the Member State to develop an action plan to fill any gaps, which in turn will help the development of the national nuclear infrastructure.
The INIR missions review the 19 infrastructure issues identified in the Agency's publication Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power.