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Vietnam formally scraps plans for first nuclear power plants

Associated Press Associated Press 22/11/2016

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam's legislature on Tuesday endorsed the government's decision to scrap plans to build the country's first two nuclear power plants.

The government's announcement of the endorsement said cheaper renewable energy and power imports were available and that investment should be made in more urgent infrastructure needs.

The National Assembly in 2009 approved plans to build two nuclear power plants with combined capacity of 4,000 megawatts. Construction was initially scheduled to start in 2014 but was delayed several times.

The contracts to build the plants had been awarded to companies from Russia and Japan. The construction partners regretted that Vietnam was scrapping the plans but respected the decision, the government said.

The cancellation dealt a blow to Japan's plans to export nuclear power plants to counter shrinking sales at home since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The two plants would have contributed about 5.7 percent of Vietnam's power output when completed in 2030 and that could be offset by other sources of energy, the government said.

State media have reported that the nuclear power plants were not economically viable because of cheaper sources of power such as coal and gas and that the costs of the plants had doubled to $18 billion.

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