The Vietnamese government needs to set up a national nuclear regulatory agency right away, to ensure the country’s nuclear project gets underway as well as keeping in line with international rules and guidance that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demands.

This suggestion was made by international and domestic nuclear specialists from IAEA, Russia, Japan, the US, Thailand and Bulgaria in the first meeting to discuss the issue, held in northern Hai Phong City on July 18.

The Head of the Department for Nuclear and Radiation Safety at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Vuong Huu Tan, said that the legal regulations and a national nuclear regulatory agency will ensure that a nuclear power programme gets off the ground, especially the construction of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant.

The necessary legislation has already been drawn up, according to each phase of the project, he said.

The department will be upgraded to become the National Nuclear Regulatory Agency whose tasks and operations will be decided in December after being approved by the Prime Minister.

According to experts, the changes and updates to the legal regulations on nuclear power are necessary to meet the IAEA’s current safety requirements.

They suggested that the construction of the nuclear power plant should be regulated by not only the Law on Nuclear Energy but also by the laws on electricity, investment, construction and environmental protection.

Therefore these agencies should be included when the new regulations on nuclear power are drafted, to avoid inconsistencies and overlaps, they said.

The experts also put forward suggestions as to the location of the plant, the ability to appraise nuclear safety, radiation safety, strategies to cope with radiation leaks and personnel training.-VNA