A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology on the construction of a nuclear science and technology centre in Vietnam. An inter-governmental agreement to build the centre was signed between Russia and Vietnam in 2011.

The MOU was signed in Moscow on 29 June by Rosatom director general Alexey Likhachov and Vietnam's deputy minister of science and technology Tran Dai Thanh. The signing was witnessed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the President of Vietnam Tea Dan Quang.

Vietnam and Russia intend to promote further cooperation in the construction of the nuclear science and technology centre, in particular to work out the next steps once the Vietnamese government approves the project's pre-feasibility study. The MOU also provides for consultation on the terms and conditions for financing the project. In addition, the two sides will develop a plan for further cooperation in the development of Vietnam's nuclear infrastructure.

The nuclear science and technology centre will be equipped with Russian-designed research reactors, a multipurpose cyclotron, as well as research laboratories, an engineering complex, equipment and infrastructure to ensure the safe operation of the centre. It will be used for training staff for Vietnam's nuclear power program.

Russia and Vietnam signed an agreement in November 2011 covering the construction of a nuclear science and technology centre at Hanoi Polytechnic University. Under the terms of that agreement, the Russian government was to provide loans worth $500 million for the centre's construction.

In October 2010, Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement with Vietnam for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Southeast Asian country. The agreement called for the construction by Rosatom subsidiary AtomStroyExport of the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant at Phuoc Dinh in the southern Ninh Thuan province, as a turnkey project. The plant was to comprise two 1200 MWe VVER pressurised water reactors and be owned and operated by state-owned Electricity of Vietnam.

The Ninh Thuan 2 plant at Vinh Hai, on Cam Ranh Bay about 20 kilometres northeast of Phouc Dinh, was to be developed under a partnership with Japan.

However, last November Vietnam's legislature endorsed the government's decision to abandon plans to build the country's first two nuclear power plants in favour of renewable energy and power imports amid lower crude oil and coal prices.

"The government of Vietnam highly appreciates the positive attitude and the support of Russia and Japan in the preparation of our nuclear projects. Vietnam assures that Russia and Japan will remain the main partners of our country, if we are going to build nuclear power plants," the Vietnamese government said in a statement at that time.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 04 July 2017
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Russia-signs-MOU-for-Vietnam-nuclear-research-cent