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IAEA’s Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review mission team members and their counterparts at the exit meeting of the INIR follow-up mission to Viet Nam, Hanoi, 14 November 2014. (Photo: VAEA)
Hanoi – An IAEA mission reviewing Viet Nam’s nascent nuclear power programme found that the country implemented some of the Agency’s earlier recommendations on siting, stakeholder involvement, environmental protection and industrial involvement, and that it is aware of what more needs to be done.
The team of international experts, assembled at Viet Nam’s request by the IAEA to see how the recommendations from the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission held in 2012 are being implemented, conducted a follow-up INIR mission from 10 to 14 November 2014.
“When we were here in 2012, we found that Viet Nam had many things to do to get ready for nuclear power,” said Jong Kyun Park, INIR mission team leader and Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power. “During our mission this week, we saw that Viet Nam is making progress. For example, we saw that there is now an approved national project on stakeholder involvement and many activities have been carried out in the last two years.”
“In other areas where we made recommendations in 2012,” he added, “Viet Nam has on-going activities or plans and has a good knowledge of what needs to be done.”
Viet Nam began considering nuclear power in the 1980s, and the government approved the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Projects in 2009 to meet the country’s projected energy needs. Viet Nam 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 the Ninh Thuan province.
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. The IAEA Milestones Approach is documented in the IAEA publication Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power (IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NG-G-3.1).
INIR missions are designed to assist IAEA Member States to assess the status of the national infrastructure needed for introducing nuclear power. By providing a comprehensive review of all facets of a nuclear power programme, spanning the regulatory body, utility and the relevant Government stakeholders involved, INIR is a valuable tool for promoting transparency and openness and confirming that the necessary infrastructure is being developed in an integrated way. Their follow-up missions enable a country to verify how the recommendations from a previous mission are being implemented to support the nuclear power programme. The mission teams consist of IAEA staff and international experts.
This was the 14th INIR mission organized by the IAEA. Other embarking countries that have benefited from this service so far are Bangladesh, Belarus, Indonesia, Jordan, Poland, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, South Africa hosted the first INIR mission to an operating country considering expanding its nuclear power programme.