Atomic agency calls for nuclear watchdog
|Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called on Viet Nam to establish an independent agency to monitor the safe use of nuclear power.— VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called on Viet Nam to establish an independent agency to monitor the safe use of nuclear power.
Amano told the press yesterday that IAEA considered Viet Nam an important partner and lauded the country's "careful preparation" of nuclear power plants in central Ninh Thuan Province. It also drew on the nation's commitment to fostering the safe use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
Two missions were sent by IAEA in December 2009 and December 2012 to help Viet Nam review the country's nuclear power infrastructure.
According to Amano, the agency is considering sending a peer-review mission to Viet Nam for annual consultations as the country continues its development of nuclear power.
Viet Nam currently serves as the chair of the Board of Governors for IAEA and actively participated in the Nuclear Security Summit previously held in the US (2010) and South Korea (2012).
Addressing the incident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in 2011, Amano said "some thought this would be the end of nuclear power plants."
However, safety features deployed at nuclear power plants have seen dramatic upgrades following the effects of Fukushima.
IAEA estimates that the global use of nuclear power will increase by at least 17 per cent by 2030 due to the need for stable energy supplies, lower greenhouse gas emissions and potential applications in medicine and agriculture.
On public concerns for the nuclear power projects in Ninh Thuan Province, Amano said there was no need to rush the project and that countries should take 10-15 years or more to prepare.
The IAEA chief is scheduled to visit the Ninh Thuan site today.
According to the Master Plan for National Power Development, which covers the 2011-20 period with a vision to 2030 and has been approved by the Prime Minister, the first two units in Ninh Thuan will be put into operation in 2020 and are expected to generate 2,000MW per year.
By 2050, Viet Nam hopes to generate enough nuclear power to account for 20-25 per cent of its energy consumption. — VNS