Despite Japan’s nuclear crisis and cautions by other Asian countries, Vietnam is signaling its intentions to move forward with its ambitious plans for nuclear power generation. Authorities in Hanoi say Vietnam’s first nuclear plant will be constructed on schedule near the south central coastal city of Phan Rang.
As Vietnam works with Russian experts to build that facility, engineers plan to use information about the unfolding disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant to ensure safety.
Other countries planning for nuclear energy include Thailand and Indonesia, but Vietnam is the most ambitious in the region — with plans to put eight nuclear plants online over the next 20 years.
This is likely to put Vietnam at odds with its neighbors, whose leaders have reacted to the Japan situation with considerable concern. The ASEAN region needs nuclear safety rules because the only current nuclear agreement is a 1995 treaty to keep the regional bloc a zone free of nuclear weapons.