Enhancing the capacity and authority of nuclear regulatory agencies was the topic up for discussion at an international seminar in Hanoi on June 26.

It was jointly organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Nuclear Energy Agency under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The seminar was attended by domestic and overseas experts from the Nuclear Regulatory Cooperation Forum (NRCF).

On addressing the event, Minister for Science and Technology Nguyen Quan, said that Vietnam has already started its national nuclear power programme, with the first nuclear power station due to be in commercial operation by 2020.

Therefore, the country needs to establish fully qualified nuclear regulatory agencies with the necessary clout to ensure nuclear safety and security

Denis Flory, the IAEA’s Deputy General Director said countries need to meet the first requirements of a nuclear power programme, which include setting up a nuclear regulatory agency with adequate financial capacity and expertise.

An independent, efficient and strong regulatory agency is essential to ensure safety and security of the nation’s nuclear programme, stressed Flory.

At the seminar, nuclear specialists focused on the guidelines needed when setting up a nuclear regulatory agency and advised Vietnam on how to gradually engage in assessing the safety of nuclear power projects nationwide.

Experts from NRCF also shared their experiences in human resources training, management procedures and building internal management structures for Vietnam ’s nuclear regulatory agency.-VNA