On 25 November 2009, with the agreement of 77.48 percent of delegates, the National Assembly of Vietnam approved the resolution on the construction of the first nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan province.
Under this resolution, the project will include two separate plants with accumulative capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW) each, respectively located in Thuan Nam and Ninh Hai districts of Ninh Thuan province. The total estimated investment is VND 200 trillion (USD 11 billion).
The first nuclear power plant in Thuan Nam district has been scheduled to be built in 2014 and to begin operations in 2020. The time-line for the construction of the second plant in Ninh Hai district has not yet been decided.
According to this resolution, the two plants will use pressured water reactor technology, the most prevailing and efficient generation of reactors at the time the project was designed.
Alongwith the project, a general policy to develop infrastructure systems, economy, education and social welfare in the above site areas of the plants is also announced.
With this nuclear power project, Vietnam expects that the shortage of electricity will be partially resolved. The Ministry of Industry and Trade anticipated that Vietnam would lack about 112 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of power in 2020 and 218 billion kWh in 2025.
Critics objected that the country lacks workers qualified to operate the plants, that legislation is not adequately developed and that there are holes in the planned security arrangements, notably relating to nuclear waste although these issues are also addressed in this resolution.
The investment policies for the 1,200 MW Lai Chau hydropower project, which will produce about 4.7 billion kWh per annum and is scheduled to start construction in late 2010, was also approved by the National Assembly.