Friday, June 06, 2008

Vietnam passes civilian nuclear law

Lawmakers in Vietnam approved a law allowing civilian use of atomic energy.

By allowing nuclear energy for civilian purposes, the path to the nation's first nuclear power plant is now more solid, said officials.

An official in the national assembly confirmed the vote on the law Tuesday, local news sources said.

According to the draft version of the law that reportedly was passed, atomic energy would be "for the purpose of peace and for socio-economic development."

The law outlines procedures to build nuclear plants to feed fuel into the country's growing economy. The country's fuel needs reportedly have increased more than 15 percent per year recently.

Vietnamese officials hope a first nuclear power plant could be operational by 2020 with an initial turbine capacity of 1,000 megawatts, and state-run Electricity of Vietnam has said it expects nuclear power capacity to grow rapidly, reaching up to 11,000 megawatts by 2025.

Japan, France, South Korea, Russia and China have all expressed interest in helping Vietnam build its first plant in southern Ninh Thuan province.