Vietnam is committed to using nuclear power for peaceful purposes and to developing it in a safe and secure manner, a senior official said on August 7.

The assurance was given by Hoang Anh Tuan, director of the Department of Atomic Energy, at a three-day national conference held in central Ninh Thuan province.

Tuan gave a general outline of nuclear power development in Vietnam including the Government's strategy to apply it for national development.

At the event, Le Dinh Tien, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, spoke about the preeminence of nuclear energy in socio-economic development, not just in Vietnam but the world over.

In addition to developing nuclear power, it is necessary to help people from different backgrounds have a full and sound understanding of the nature, characteristics and necessity for nuclear power as well as its role in achieving energy security for socio-economic development, he said.

This would create a broad consensus among people, facilitating implementation of projects planned in Ninh Thuan province as well as ensuring sustainable nuclear power development in Vietnam , he added.

Concurring with Tien, Brenda Pagannone of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said several Western and Asian countries still had concerns about nuclear power.

The mass media in these countries have publicized both positive and negative aspects of nuclear power and the IAEA respected this effort, Pagannone said.

It is necessary to use honest and transparent information on all aspects to create an accurate awareness of this kind of energy among the people, she said.

Nuclear energy development cannot be realised without the people's support, she added.

Do Huu Nghi, Vice Chairman of the Ninh Thuan People's Committee, said propagation for nuclear power development was an important task that must be carried out frequently and over a long period of time to improve people's awareness.

His administration would "create consensus among Ninh Thuan people, thus contributing to successful construction of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power plant," Nghi said.

Tuan of the Department of Atomic Energy reiterated that nuclear power development aimed to achieve energy security for Vietnam and push up the nation's socio-economic development.

Support from people, particularly from the local administration in Ninh Thuan province, as well as support from international agencies like the International Atomic Energy Agency would play a very important role in ensuring the success of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant, he said.

The conference also discussed policies and other practical aspects of nuclear power development.

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Czech Republic, the United States and relevant Vietnamese organisations, as well as representatives of the locality where the nuclear power plant is to be built attended the conference.-VNA