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The Big Bear of Two Continents: Russia in Vietnam


It's a synchronicity kind of thing: Just as Vietnam revs up its interest  in nuclear energy, here come the Russians, continuing to lumber around their neighborhood looking for partners:

Valeri Rachkov, Director of Rosatom’s Scientific Policy Department, said during the International Nuclear Energy Exhibition which wrapped up in Hanoi on May 17 that Russian companies have good prospect of winning bids for building the first nuclear power plant in Vietnam as Russia has experiences in this field.

But Rachkov admits that wanting to bid and winning a bid are two different things:

However, the executive added that it is still too early to mention any specific plans as there will be fierce competition in the Vietnamese market.

Well, yes. First Vietnam actually has to decide it wants to proceed with nuclear energy - the bill before the Vietnamese legislature seems likely to pass but you never know - and second, France and Japan were also hanging around the exhibition and have some formidable technology to put forth.

But we may be sure that if any country in Russia's immediate neighborhood even gets nuc- out of their mouths, Russia will be right there looking to sell. We'd say capitalism seems to be working pretty well for them - or at least the competitive zeal aspect of capitalism - but so far, with limited success - only Iran, Bulgaria and India have so far gotten on board. We have no judgment about this one way or another, we're just noting the aggressiveness with which the big bear of two continents has nosed into any nuclear beehive that has even the promise of honey. Best of luck to them.

Note: The Russian bear above is juggling plates depicting favorite foods. No editorial comment intended - he's just cute.


Anonymous said…
The Russians are going to build a bunch of their reactors at home, and thus gain experience and find ways to bring costs down.

For one thing the supply chains/component makers are going to be up and running. And that makes it easier to bid for the next project.


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