The nuclear power infrastructure development is a concept initiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help countries begin the development of a nuclear power system with essential, fundamental conditions and capacity to realize the successful project implementation of the first nuclear power plant as well as a long-term nuclear power program.
According to the IAEA, a country in development of nuclear power should have the commitment to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, this requires an establishment of national sustainable infrastructure, national strategies, including nationallegal, regulatory, managerial, technological, human and industrial supports for nuclear energy programs throughout the lifecycle of a nuclear power plant.
Mr. Hoang Anh Tuan - Director of the Department of Atomic Energy (Ministry of Science and Technology) said: “Under the guidance of the IAEA, the nuclear infrastructure comprises 19 fundamental issues, and each of them has its importance to be considered carefully. The preparation of infrastructure for nuclear power operations must be completed in line with the syncronized progress of a 3 phases of nuclear power project.
Accordingly, Phase 1 is to study, envisage, consider before a decision is made for the implementation of nuclear power program; Phase 2 is the preparatory work for the construction of nuclear power plant after the decision is made from the national policy; Phase 3 is the operation of the first nuclear power plant.
The instructions as recommended by the IAEA have been inculcated from the experience of nuclear power development research of member states through many decades. However, the IAEA also noted that, in order to develop a better nuclear power infrastructure, it requires the close collaboration of the related parties, and each country in its own circumstances, conditions, time and scenario of its nuclear power could apply for the infrastructure development of nuclear power by its most effective way for the country.
Mr. Hoang Anh Tuan also added that the duration for each phase depends on the level of commitment and available resources and in Vietnam each phase could lastfor 10-15 years. The term "infrastructure milestones" to indicate the necessary conditions which demonstrate that phase has been completed.
By now Vietnam has completed the infrastructure for Milestone 1 and the phase 2 is on-going towards completion of Milestone 2, which meansit is ready for the bidding to build the first nuclear power plant.
According to the IAEA, in the national infrastructure development for nuclear power, Vietnam has many remarkable strides but there is still much to be done for Vietnam before the completion of Phase 2.
IAEA also made recommendations and suggestions to advise Vietnam to continues the development of national infrastructure in Phase 2, which focuses on seven key domains including: completion of relevant legal documents; regulatory framework; human resource development plan; management system; capital and financing; management of the used materials and radioactive waste; incident response plans to help Vietnam accomplish the national infrastructure for nuclear power.
It was on December 11, 2014, the Prime Minister issued the Decision No. 2241/QD-TTg to approve the master plan for infrastructure development of nuclear power, the phase upto 2020 in order to develop a complete, comprehensive nuclear power infrastructure in line with the guidance of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the reality in Vietnam, meeting the requirements for the approval of investment projects of a nuclear power plant to be built in Ninh Thuan; to ensure the conditions and infrastructure necessary for deployment of Ninh Thuan nuclear power Project, with safety, security and efficiency.
As shown in the plan, Vietnam shall implement 12 projects under the approved tasks for the infrastructure of nuclear power until 2020, and other 19 projects, as additional duties for nuclear power infrastructure to be implemented by 2020.
Along with the finalization of the legal documents, mechanisms and policies to serve the development of nuclear power, the training and development of human resources to meet the structural requirements, quantity and quality for the construction, engineering and operation of nuclear power plant is on-going.
In addition, the Ministry of Science and Technology shall coordinate the implementation of training plans, training of personnel for governance and research - deployment and technical support through 2020 to serve the development of nuclear power as mandated by Decision No. 1756 / QD-TTg dated 15/10/2015 of the Prime Minister.
Mr. Hoang Anh Tuan said that for Vietnam to quickly complete the Milestone 2, it is to implement the master plan on infrastructure development for nuclear power by 2020 as it has been scheduled.
The ministries, related branches and localities assigned to the task of the overall plan should continue the implementation to ensure the progress and quality of the project and given tasks.
At the same time, Vietnam is to cooperate closely with the IAEA and other countries in the implementation of the master plan with its comprehensive development ofnational infrastructure for nuclear power, in line with guidance from IAEA and Vietnam practice, to meet the requirements of the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant project to ensure safety, security and efficiency.