Skip to main content

The Big Bear of Two Continents: Russia in Vietnam

russia

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.

Comments

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.

--aa2

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…