Sharing hard-earned experience in using nuclear power for peaceful purposes was the focus of discussions among Vietnamese and Japanese experts and managers at a recent seminar in Hanoi.

Vietnam has an increasing demand for energy in the next decade for its socio-economic development, while the limited fossil fuel sources are becoming exhausted, said Le Dinh Tien, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, at the November 20 event jointly held by the Ministries of Science and Technology, Trade and Industry and Japan ’s Atomic Energy Agency.

Therefore, Vietnam decided to develop nuclear energy to ensure the national energy security, said Tien, adding that the country’s consistent stance is to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, with top priority put on safety and security, especially in the wake of last year’s incident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

According to the approved National Energy Plan, Vietnam ’s first nuclear power plant will be put into operation in 2020 and by 2030, nuclear power is expected to make up about 10 percent of the total national electricity output.

To realise the programme, the country is focusing on developing sound infrastructure, including legal and regulatory systems, human resource development, enhancing capacity of nuclear regulatory agencies and fostering international cooperation in the field, he said.

During four sessions of the seminar, participants spotlighted developing and using nuclear power for peaceful purposes, human resource development, cooperation between Vietnam and Japan in nuclear security and facility inspection, as well as future cooperation in nuclear security and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

In April 2010, Vietnam joined the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the Convention on Nuclear Safety. In September this year, the country approved the supplementary protocol and necessary documents to join the IAEA’s Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

Vietnamese leaders also attended and made positive contributions to the success of the two Nuclear Security Summits in 2010 and 2012.-VNA