Vietnam’s sole nuclear reactor in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat has been shut down for a major upgrade of its control system which will finish in May. The 500kW reactor is used for training and research and managed by the Nuclear Study Institute.
The institute staff had shut down the control system for replacement of some of their components, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department for Radiation Control and Safety Department said.
Together with some foreign experts they would carry out test runs of the system in March. After assessments, the reactor would resume operations.
The Da Lat nuclear reactor was built in 1984 and will need to be replaced in 2015. Its control system underwent an earlier upgrade in 1993.
The Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission said last year the country would need a new, 5-10 MW nuclear reactor for scientific training and research purposes after the Da Lat reactor was closed.
Vietnam plans to build its first nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1,000-2,000 MW between 2015 and 2020.
The International Atomic Energy Agency agreed last year to provide nearly US$1.5 million for Vietnam’s nuclear projects.