‘Hundreds of officers enter school to turn Ninh Thuan into nuclear power’


    There were 450 students and engineers sent to Russia and Japan to train and prepare human resources for the Ninh Thuan nuclear power project, but the project has stalled since 2016.


    The Ninh Thuan nuclear power project was halted according to the decision in Resolution 31, 2016 of the National Assembly. However, last month, the Economic Committee of the National Assembly proposed to consider the development of nuclear power.


    Looking back on the previous preparation process, Dr. Tran Chi Thanh, director of the Vietnam Institute of Atomic Energy (Vinatom), Ministry of Science and Technology, that from 1996 to 2002 some of the first studies on the introduction of nuclear energy were The nuclear power in Vietnam, including the consideration- for some locations, has been deployed. When the National Assembly approved the policy of building the nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan (2009), preparations were more urgent, with the highlight being the pre-feasibility study project (Pre-FS).


    Dr. Tran Chi Thanh shared information with VnExpress reporter on June 1. Photo: NQ


    A year later, Vietnam signed an agreement with Russia and Japan on the construction of the Ninh Thuan 1 and Ninh Thuan 2 plants. In 2011, the feasibility study (FS) project began along with the site assessment. implement and assign to the Project Management Board, The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) is the direct implementation unit. The pre-feasibility study report was completed after 2 years and submitted to EVN.


    Mr. Thanh said that to ensure the operation of a nuclear power plant, a large number of human resources are needed, from hundreds of people, from universities, colleges to high schools … Officials who will operate plant. Nuclear power is investor trained (EVN).


    In this project, Vinatom is responsible for preparing a team of technical experts (research on nuclear power technology and safety to understand the relevant scientific and technical issues). Over the past 10 years, the Institute has sent nearly 100 people to study masters and doctoral studies abroad through scholarship applications, in the Russian Federation, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States. “Currently, some cadres who have completed their doctoral degree still remain to do post-doctoral work (PostDoc) in other countries, as the nuclear power program has been temporarily suspended in the country,” said Dr. . Thanh, added that in countries like South Korea, Japan is in dire need of nuclear power staff.


    In addition to this group, there are approximately 450 students and engineers studying in Russia and Japan under the training program of the Ministry of Education and Training, EVN specialized training, including university training in nuclear power. , improve qualifications, train key personnel in technology and safety of nuclear power plants …


    Choice of technology


    In the years 2013-2014, the story of which technology to choose for the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant was discussed and exchanged by Vinatom several times with Russia and Japan. The exchanges mainly discussed which technology to choose for the Ninh Thuan 1 and Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power plant through conferences and seminars continuously in the years 2012-2016.


    Currently, the world is focused on two main technologies: light water (LWR) or advanced heavy water generation III+, and SMR technology (which is a small capacity furnace under 300 MWe), with light water cooling technology (e.g. of NuScale), high. temperature cooled by gas and cooled by liquid metal. However, SMR is a new technology and has not yet been laid out commercially (according to the world’s leading nuclear experts, it takes 20-30 years for commercial deployment and verification).


    “We have proposed the advanced Russian furnace, AES2006/V491 for the Ninh Thuan 1 project and Westinghouse (USA) AP1000 with 1000 MWe capacity for the Ninh Thuan 2 project, which are new designs that ensure many standards. safety after Fukushima, “said Dr. Thanh. Generation III+ LWR technology is being applied to 51 reactors in new nuclear power plants currently under construction around the world.


    Two locations are planned for Nuclear Power Plants 1 and 2 in Ninh Thuan. Graphics:Brought to


    Mr. Thanh explained, the generation III+ light water furnace is the latest technology, developed from previous experience, which enhances the ability to ensure safety, prevent the development of incidents if abnormal problems occur. Increased safety systems, active safety combined with passive safety, can ensure safety even in the event of power supply failure, more redundancy systems are installed in new designs.


    He said the Vietnamese project carried out at that time was needed to meet safety requirements after Fukushima, where the main part of the incident had to be taken care of and considered in the selected furnace design. The set of technology selection criteria for Ninh Thuan 1 and Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power projects was developed by Vinatom and EVN.


    After the unification with Russia, in 2014 the technology documents of the LWR generation III+ (Ninh Thuan 1 project) were prepared, translated into Vietnamese, and the EVN was transferred to the Department of Nuclear Radiation Safety (Ministry of Science and Technology). Science and Technology) for analysis.


    In 2016, EVN and Vinatom also prepared several unified plans, but the Ninh Thuan nuclear power project was halted. “All the preparatory work has also stopped,” Mr. Thanh said, adding that however, over the past 6 years, the Institute has still researched technology and safety, sending staff to study at other countries and invited the world’s leading experts. world to exchange knowledge about nuclear power and improve capacity.


    Of the more than 400 students and engineers sent to study nuclear power, about 60-70 people complete training each year and go home. “They go to work for EVN but switch to work in thermal power, hydroelectricity and electricity management projects. Vinatom also invites newly graduated engineers to Russia, but the research salary is low, so every year only a few officers returned to work, “said Drs. Thanh.


    He also said that Vinatom is currently maintaining international cooperation with countries such as Russia, Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on nuclear technology and safety through nuclear safety research projects. , exchange of experts, design nuclear research reactor. The project to build a nuclear science and technology research center in Dong Nai, including the construction of a new nuclear research reactor, is also being implemented.


    “We are constantly working on research, preparing human resources to be ready for the team of experts for nuclear power,” he said, adding that many PhD students who have studied abroad have remained. abroad, but when necessary they are ready to return.


    Nhu Quynh