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Minister seeks further clarification on earthquake risks

Update: April, 09/2015 - 17:07
Experts conduct geological survey on possible threats of earthquakes and faulting at the Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power plant in central Ninh Thuan Province. — Photo of Power Engineering Consulting JSC1 (PECC1)

HA NOI (VNS) — Science and Technology Minister Nguyen Quan yesterday urged Japanese scientists to further clarify risks of an earthquake at the construction site of the Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power plant.

The minister's request followed research results hinting at an earthquake threat at the construction site of two nuclear power plants, Ninh Thuan 1 and Ninh Thuan 2 in the central Ninh Thuan Province, which reflected the differences in the research conducted by Russia and Japan.

Vnexpress' website reported that Quan had raised this issue with Mamoru Muramatsu, deputy director of the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC), the consulting firm for one of the projects.

Quan said the two nuclear power plants were only located 30 kilometres apart, and while Russia's evaluation report showed that the fluctuation in the background was safe, Japan had said it was insecure.

The minister said as a result a new site might have to be found to build the second plant if the current site posed high risks of an earthquake.

Japan is helping Viet Nam build the Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power plant, and Russia is facilitating the construction of the Ninh Thuan 1 plant. The two plants are expected to have a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts (MW).

Answering the question raised by Minister Quan, Muramatsu said JAPC would further evaluate the differences in the assessments of both Japan and Russia.

He said after the Fukushima nuclear power plant tragedy in Japan, which was a result of the tsunami and earthquake in 2011, Japan had carried out geological surveys on earthquakes and fault lines for all of its 48 nuclear power plants.

Thus, he believed that Japan had adequate experience in this field.

Vuong Huu Tan, director of the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Technology, said Viet Nam was not fully in agreement with Japan's view on treating the fluctuating background as a basic criterion, and had suggested that Japan should further clarify its evaluation.

In last 2009, the National Assembly had passed a resolution on the construction of a 4,000MW nuclear power plant project in the province's Thuan Nam and Ninh Hai districts, with an investment of VND200 trillion (US$10.5) being made by Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN), the main investor in the two plants. The construction of Ninh Thuan 1 Plant was scheduled to commence in 2014, but was currently behind schedule. — VNS


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