Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Projects Ready to Start

9:41:58 PM | 3/4/2013

Ninh Thuan province has been chosen to host two atomic power plants and these facilities are expected to create new opportunities and motivations for development in the new stage. According to the national electricity development plan, ground will be broken for the two nuclear power plants in December 2014 and work completed by 2020. The facilities are expected to start generating electricity by the end of 2020. Nguyen Manh Hung, Deputy Director of Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Project Management Board, said the preparatory progress is very favourable and the feasibility report is scheduled to be submitted to the Government for approval this year. Cong Luan reports.
Vietnam will build two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan province. Could you tell us the role and importance of these two plants to the province’s socio-economic development?
The intent of building two first nuclear power plants in Vietnam was ratified in the 12th National Assembly’s Resolution 41/2009/QH12. Accordingly, the Article 3 specifies nine major tasks the Government has to carry out and the tasks related to Ninh Thuan province are to elaborate detailed plans for the relocation and resettlement of local inhabitants, and construct infrastructure facilities serving the project, ground area and auxiliary structures serving the construction of the plants; to properly carry out information work and mobilisation of the people through various specific forms, creating high consensus in society.
The province is elaborating migration and resettlement projects to build two resettlement areas with synchronous technical infrastructure for reallocated people. Ninh Thuan is also working on personnel training plans.
As regards technical infrastructure, the Government of Vietnam has invested in building coastal roads to serve the projects and create a coastal traffic route to link Khanh Hoa province and Binh Thuan province. Besides, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Group will invest two roads connecting National Road 1A and the coastal route.
As for human resource attraction, the construction of the two nuclear power plants will create direct jobs for over 30,000 people, including 2,000 foreigners. Many services will be created for domestic and foreign experts when power plants are being built. When the two atomic power plants go in operation, they will produce 28 billion kWh a year. Given a kWh of electricity is sold at 8 cents in 2022, total revenue will be US$2.24 billion year. The province will collect VND5,000 billion of taxes a year. In addition, these facilities will help Ninh Thuan province attract more investment projects which will create jobs for local people and raise incomes in the province., total revenue will be US$2.24 billion year. The province will collect VND5,000 billion of taxes a year. In addition, these facilities will help Ninh Thuan province attract more investment projects which will create jobs for local people and raise incomes in the province.
How is the progress of the two nuclear power plants? To prevent nuclear accidents, how is the safety issue for the two plants addressed?
The Russian - Ukrainian contractor consortium, consisting of E4 - KIEP - EPT, has basically completed the survey for the first phase of the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant No. 1. Currently, the contractors are collecting, analysing and processing geological and environmental data to choose the location. In the fourth quarter of 2013, they will complete and submit location and project documentations for approval.
Japanese contractor, JAPC, has completed the field survey and supplemented surveys for the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant No. 2. The contractor is continuing with analytical surveys, processing data and materials collected to make location and project documentation for approval. JAPC has fulfilled legal procedures to serve additional surveys to confirm geotechnical properties. The consultant will complete and submit location and project documents for approval in the second quarter of 2013.
In addition, component projects are also being carried out together with the two atomic power plants.
Safety for two facilities, with experience learnt from the Fukushima (Japan) incident, is given more attention, particularly response solutions to natural disasters, with computing and simulation of extreme cases like extreme climate and geological events, taking into account the concurrence of rain, storm, flooding, earthquake, tsunami and other Act of God. The contractor also researches and assesses the full impact of tectonic fracture, climate change and sea level rise in the project area. In addition, we consider the project design of special standard, ensure the highest security, safety, and pass all protection assumptions. We also thoroughly examine the design and closely manage the construction to ensure standard quality. Besides, we focus on human resource training to ensure professionalism and discipline and build a culture of safety.
Could you share about the training of management personnel for nuclear power, nuclear regulatory personnel, project management personnel, and nuclear power operation personnel in the future?
Currently, the board has 104 staff, with 88 holding university degrees or higher. They have been trained with basic knowledge of nuclear power, reactor technology, project management, finance and procurement, public information on nuclear safety and radiation, human resource development and nuclear regulations. Training courses in foreign countries have been provided for 74 staff and 182 turns have taken part in advanced training courses and conferences related to nuclear power.
As regards personnel training for the operation of these power plants, EVN has established a project to train some 2,200 people to operate the two atomic power plants. In 2009, EVN recruited 29 talented students and sent them to training in France and Russia. From 2010 to present, the group has coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Training to recruit, finance and send 169 students to training programmes in Russia. Especially, EVN has dispatched 15 experienced electricity specialists to Japanese power plants to train key staff for Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant No. 2 in accordance with a 2-year programme (2012-2014). In the coming years, EVN will continue to recruit talented students for the nuclear power industry. On the other hand, it will continue to coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training to recruit and finance students, and seek long-term service commitments to the project after they graduate.
How about the results of topographic, geological, hydrological and oceanographic surveying and environmental impact assessment on these projects to date?
Topographically, we have completed the terrestrial terrain map on a scale of 1:5,000; seabed map on a scale of 1:10,000 and 1:1,000 for the two plants.
Geologically, the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant has completed the first-phase field survey (test drilling, geophysical measuring, geological drawing, etc.); processed and analysed data to make reports, and started the second-phase fieldwork survey. Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power plant has completed exploratory drilling and geophysical measuring (seismic exploration, logging methods) and is now adding additional survey works.
As regards meteorological and environmental impact assessments, we are investigating and collecting field data and process data to make detailed reports.