Nuclear power diversifies energy sector

15:07 | 28/05/2015 Industry

(VEN) - Doan The Vinh, Deputy Director of Nuclear and Thermal Power Plants Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s General Department of Energy, has noted that under the national power development plan with a vision to 2030, Vietnam will require 194-210 billion kWh of electricity in 2015, 330-362 billion kWh in 2020, and 695-834 billion kWh by 2030. All this energy must be either produced domestically or imported.

Nuclear power persifies  energy sector

Lat NucDa Lat Nuclear Reactor Photo: Quynh Nga

As such, the development of nuclear power is being looked at as a way to satisfy the increasing demand for electricity as well as to decrease fuel imports. Investment in the electricity sector is estimated at US$5.864 billion (2011-2015), US$7.8 billion (2016-2025) and more than US$9.6 billion (2026-2030) per year in the upcoming periods. The sector needs a total investment capital of about US$33 billion for the period from now to 2030, an average of US$1.6 billion per year.

“Nuclear power development will help ensure energy security. Managers always have to keep in mind the risks involved in any type of energy, as well as look at alternative sources for it,” Vinh said.

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN)’s Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant Project Management Unit Deputy Director Phan Minh Tuan said that Vietnam’s power system mainly depends on thermal and hydropower, and that hydropower accounts for almost half of the system’s capacity. Nuclear power is a tempting solution, especially as fuel imports remain costly.

According to Doan The Vinh, National Power Master  Plan  VII shows that a total of 146,800MW of electricity will be produced by 2030 in Vietnam, of which 11.8 percent will be hydropower, 3.9 percent will be storage hydropower, 51.6 percent will be coal-based thermal power, 11.8 percent will be gas-based thermal power, 9.4 percent will be renewable energy-based power, 6.6 percent will be nuclear power, and 4.9 percent will be imported energy.

Meanwhile, Vuong Huu Tan, Director of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS), said that the general trend worldwide is to use renewable energy such as wind power, solar power, and biomass power so that nuclear energy never has too be relied upon as a major energy source. However, nuclear power will continue to play an important role in the energy structure of developing countries as long as populations and electricity demand continue to rise, and concerns about climate change, energy supply security, and changes in fuel prices persist.

Deputy Director Doan The Vinh said, “Nuclear power has many advantages over other forms of energy. This solution should not be ignored as it suits the conditions of Vietnam and the country’s development demands in terms of industrialization and modernization. Vietnam will choose modern technology as well as fully prepare to ensure the safety of nuclear power development.”

An expert from the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, Le Doan Phac said, “Nuclear power is still growing and has been chosen by many countries worldwide. In France, nuclear power accounts for more than 70 percent of the total power capacity.”      

By Quynh Nga