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Dalat worries nuclear reactor hitting tourism

Mon, 31 Mar 2014. Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:42

Vu Van Ninh, the deputy of Prime Minister has asked authorities of central part of Vietnam to consider proposal of Lam Dong Province on relocating the future nuclear reactor area outside the resort town in Dalat in years to come.

The deputy of Prime Minister said that the Lam Dong authorities’ proposal is reasonable as it will make tourists feel safe, and resort town will be developed thoroughly.

Plans of a nuclear reactor construction in Dalat have been subjects of controversy since their announcements in 2012. The National Atomic Energy Institute presently has intention to build a new reactor which is 30 times larger than the current one in Dalat, and a new “nuclear center” near Dalat Nuclear Research Center which is home to the old reactor inner the city.

After the plan was announced by the central government in 2012, the relocation of the new and larger reactor outside Dalat city has been repeatedly asked by the province. According to this proposal, the reactor is going to placed 27 km far from Dalat on Road 723 connecting Nha Trang. More arguments are made by opponents after a public ceremony. As authorities have made no changes to the initial plan; even, seemingly, there is no intention to change it so far.


Dalat Nuclear Research Institute


The deputy general director of the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation (Rosatom) for research and engineering, Vyacheslav Pershukow, told that this company is going to build the center under Vietnam-Russia Agreement. The center will consist of a nuclear reactor with a capacity of 15MW. According to this agreement, Russia is to provide US$500 million in aid to construct the center in Da Lat, and to establish a theory of research in Hanoi. The center in Dalat is planned to break ground in 2015 and finish in 2020. The center is expected to train personnel for Vietnam’s nuclear power plants, research applied nuclear energy in industrial production, biotechnology and medical purposes.

When the planned location has been maintained to be safe and supply advantageous human resource by experts, the local authorities are worried that it will have adverse impact on Dalat resort town. At a meeting, both Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh and chief of the provincial Party Huynh Duc Hoa agreed that the center should be built far from the town. Besides, Nguyen Nhi Dien, deputy director of the National Atomic Energy Center, added apart from the negative impacts in the zoning plan, the new reactor will impact Dalat tourism adversely.


Dalat Nuclear Research Institute


Human resource is another problem. Experts said that, by replacing the new reactor to outside Dalat town, it will be hard to appeal high-quality labor sources, causing unsafety of the new reactor. In accordance with a plan of the government on nuclear energy development, by 2030 Vietnam is assumed to have 13 nuclear reactors with a capacity of 15,000 MW, providing 10 % of the country’s electricity demand.