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Vietnam quits plan for first nuclear power plants

Vietnam quits plan for first nuclear power plantsVietnam's National Assembly voted on Tuesday to abandon plans to build two multi-billion-dollar nuclear power plants with Russia and Japan, after officials cited lower demand forecasts, rising costs and safety concerns, Reuters.

The vote to scrap the country's first atomic energy project deals a blow to the global nuclear business and to Japan's drive to begin exporting reactors after the Fukushima disaster left its nuclear industry in a deep freeze.

The Vietnamese government said in a statement that the decision, made in a closed session of parliament after discussion of a government proposal, was taken for economic reasons and not because of any technological considerations.

The estimated investment needed for the projects had doubled since 2009 to nearly 400 trillion dong ($18 billion), state media Tien Phong quoted Le Hong Tinh, vice chairman of the National Assembly's science, technology and environment commission, as saying earlier this month.

The environmental campaign group Greenpeace welcomed the decision to drop the nuclear plan, saying it would have been a waste of money when renewable energy alternatives are available.

"The project could also pose an environmental threat, and Vietnam cannot afford to risk another disaster after a toxic industrial leak triggered mass fish deaths earlier this year," Greenpeace Regional Campaign Coordinator Arif Fiyanto told Reuters.
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