Tag Archives: vietnam

IAEA Evaluates Vietnam Nuclear Program

map vietnmam

Senior international nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded a 10-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review how Viet Nam’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety has incorporated recommendations and suggestions from an earlier review, conducted in 2009.  The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) follow-up mission, requested by the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS), also reviewed the development of the regulatory safety infrastructure to support Viet Nam’s nuclear power programme.  The eight-member team comprised senior regulatory experts from Canada, France, Pakistan, Slovenia, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America, as well as three IAEA staff members.

The IRRS team said in its preliminary assessment that Viet Nam had made progress since 2009, but that some key recommendations still needed to be addressed.

–The effective independence of the regulatory decision-making process needs to be urgently addressed;

–Additional resources are needed to regulate existing radiation facilities and activities, as well as the country’s research reactor;

–Efforts to increase the capacity of VARANS to regulate the developing nuclear power programme should continue;

–The draft Master Plan for the Development of Nuclear Power Infrastructure should be finalized and implemented with a high priority given to nuclear safety; and

–The draft National Nuclear Emergency Response Plan should be finalized and implemented as a matter of priority, and the country’s emergency response capability should be further developed….

Viet Nam has a large number of medical, research and industrial facilities that utilize radiation, including a research reactor. The country is planning to build a new research reactor and to develop a nuclear power programme.

Excerpts IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Viet Nam’s Radiation and Nuclear Regulatory Framework, IAEA Press Release, Oct. 9, 2014

Divide and Conquer: China and the South China Sea

In 2002 China and the ten-member Association of South-East Asian Nations agreed to a “declaration” on a code of conduct for the South China Sea. This is a promise to formalise a code minimising the risk that disputes between fishermen or other users of the sea might escalate into conflict. The code has not emerged. But optimists point to the restraint parties have shown since 2002 in not occupying uninhabited islands or specks of rock (though they have been energetically fortifying the places where they already had a presence). Similarly, some were cheered when China’s most recent statement of its claim did not include the contentious map, and could even be construed as accepting (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) UNCLOS principles.

..But in late May 2011 a Vietnamese ship exploring for oil and gas in the Sea had its surveying cables cut by Chinese patrol boats..Around the time when the Vietnamese survey ship had its lines cut, the Philippines reported that Chinese vessels had been spotted unloading building material on an uninhabited reef, known as the Amy Douglas Bank, in waters it claims, apparently to build an oil rig. If so, this would undermine the declaration’s one big achievement. “It could be the final nail in its coffin,” says Ian Storey of the Institute for South-East Asian Studies in Singapore, author of a new book on China’s rise and South-East Asian security.

Even if China does not build on the reef, the perception has taken hold that it is intent on picking off the South-East Asian claimants one by one, starting with the Philippines, one of the weakest.

Excerpts, Banyan: Not littorally Shangri-La, Economist, June 11, 2011, at 50