Vietnam to build new nuclear reactor for socio-economic development

Head Tran Chi Thanh of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VNAE) revealed that Vietnam will build a new nuclear reactor for socio-economic development.

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Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Hoang Giang

At the press conference in the second quarter of 2024 held by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Head Tran Chi Thanh announced that MOST is implementing the Nuclear Science and Technology Research Center (CNST) Project with a new research reactor, aiming at producing radiopharmaceuticals and irradiating silicon to create semiconductor materials for chip manufacturing.

CNST is expected to be located in Long Khanh City in the Southern Province of Dong Nai. The center will have a pool-type nuclear reactor with a capacity of 10 MW, using low-enriched fuel manufactured by Russia.

Regarding the project's progress, Mr. Thanh said that the project has been designing the reactor and surveying the site for suitability in building a new reactor. The new research reactor has the task of producing radiopharmaceuticals to serve socio-economic development.

Currently, the Dalat nuclear reactor produces nearly 10 types of radiopharmaceuticals. Still, with the new reactor, the capacity can be increased by 5-7 times. The new reactor aims to meet the demand for radiopharmaceuticals in cancer treatment and diagnosis.

MOST has assigned VNAE to establish specialized expert groups in reactor physics, design of a horizontal facility, radioisotope production on research reactors, materials research, silicon irradiation for semiconductors, activation analysis research, environmental protection, and nuclear safety. This aims to prepare a team of research and application personnel to effectively exploit the new research reactor and ensure safety when CNST comes into operation.

At the press conference, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Hoang Giang emphasized that Vietnam's policy is to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes associated with socio-economic development. The outcomes of applications in medicine, agriculture, and the export of agricultural products have shown the practical need for nuclear energy. The project also requires long-term preparation, aiming at applying nuclear energy to socio-economic development.

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