Hundreds of Vietnamese students will be sent abroad for training in nuclear power courses as a preparation for the operation of Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plants 1 & 2, set to be put into operation by 2020, learnt Dan Tri online newspaper, quoting source from the Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency.

Currently, around 200 Vietnamese students are attending nuclear power courses in Russia. More will be sent to that country as well as others, such as Japan for the same purpose.

This was made public by Hoang Anh Tuan, Executive Director General of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency, in a recent interview.

The Government’s plan is to increase nuclear power so that it will account for 10 percent of the nation's power needs by 2030, and grow through the year 2050, Tuan said.

According to Tuan, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and its partners have finished preliminary procedures for Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant No.1. The procedures for Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant No.2 have also been completed and are awaiting approval of its location.

The ministries of Science and Technology and Natural Resources and Environment have been preparing the necessary infrastructure for the project.

He noted that Vietnam has very carefully prepared for the implementation of Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power plants, and are acutely aware of the possible dangers, especially after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in March of 2011.

Risk factors, such as the possible impacts of earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters are being considered in the development plans for both plants and awaiting approval from management agencies, he said.

The Ministry of Construction has sent hundreds of engineers and workers to Russia's nuclear power plants in order to get practical, hands-on experience in the operation and maintenance of civil nuclear power plants.

At the current time, Vietnam has more than 200 people studying in Russia for this purpose and intends to send more to this and other countries in the future.

Construction for the Ninh Thuan Power Plant No. 1 is scheduled for 2014, and the first safe nuclear power production is expected to come by late 2022.-VNA