Vietnamese officials attended a nuclear power symposium in South Africa and discussed ways to expand collaboration in the field between the two countries during a week-long working visit that wrapped up on March 4.

At the Nuclear Industry Congress Africa 2014, the Vietnamese delegation, along with international participants, discussed opportunities and challenges of new civil nuclear power programmes in Africa, in addition to nuclear safety and nuclear technology transfer.

The congress heard Vietnam’s programme on developing nuclear energy for electricity generation presented by Hoang Anh Tuan, head of the Department of Energy under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST).

Following the event, the delegation held working sessions with the South Africa Department of Energy (DoE) and other local nuclear power management agencies, in order to learn from the host’s experience in developing a nuclear power infrastructure and operating its nuclear reactor efficiently.

DoE Deputy Minister Barbara Thompson valued the guests’ visit, which helped further boost the well-established partnership between the two countries.

South Africa and Vietnam share a number of similarities, asserted Thompson, expressing her hope that the two sides will further enhance the sharing of experience for their mutual development, noticeably the growth of civil nuclear power.

For his part, MST Deputy Minister Le Dinh Tien said that the trip helped deepen Vietnamese delegates’ understanding of the safe and effective management of nuclear facilities.

He said he hopes that the two sides will continue to team up in the sphere of science and technology, including atomic power.

South Africa put into operation the 20 MW Fundamental Atomic Research Installation 1 (SAFARI-1) in 1965 and the first nuclear power plant in 1984. Radioactive isotopes, the key exports of South Africa are shipped to 60 nations around the world, annually ranking in 67 million USD.-VNA