The Article on Newspaper in Vietnam: NUCLEAR POWER SAFETY

HA NOI MOI Newspaper, 23 July, 2015

The Article on Newspaper in Vietnam: NUCLEAR POWER SAFETY

July 29, 2015




The article with regard to NUCEAR POWER SAFETY has been published on "HA NOI MOI Newspaper" (Vietnamese local newspaper) dated 23 July, 2015, where ATMEA1 technology and the message of ATMEA representative are introduced.

The description translated in English is as follows.



By Huong Chi

France is the world’s top ranked country in term of nuclear power use which takes about 75% of the total national power generation. France is also planning to develop reactors of next generation to provide the highest energy security.

Nuclear power network covers the whole country

While many countries express their concerns for or even halt temporarily the development of their nuclear power plans, France keeps its own way forward. This makes many people put the question: Why does France remain with nuclear power?

On website:, experts provide an analysis saying that France had decided to take off a major nuclear power program since 1973 when the oil crisis burst in Middle East region. At that time France faced a crisis of oil supply sources since its power plants were mainly oil-fueled. Also France is not rich in natural fuel resources such as coal and oil.

So, within about three decades, France pushed up intensively research and development programs for nuclear power technologies and gained spectacular achievements. As result, actually France has 58 nuclear reactors operated by Electricite de France (EDF) with the total capacity of 63.2 GWe and 416 billion kWh supplied in 2014.

According to assessment by experts, there are three reasons which clearly demonstrate the acceptance by French population for nuclear power development. First, the French is relatively independent in their concept of choices then they do not will to accept the dependence on oil supply from unstable sources as Middle East region is. Second, France has self-confidence to possess the high level of technologies such as nuclear power, high speed trains and supersonic aircrafts. Third, French authority officers work very hard to make their citizens see clear benefits as well as eventual risks from nuclear power projects. Surveys conducted through many years show that majority of French population support nuclear power. Therefore now the network of nuclear power plants covers all the regions of this country.

New generation reactors

Early January 2015, Mr. Segolene Royal, French Minister for Energy and Environment, makes know that France needs build up new generation nuclear power plants to substitute the old ones. This statement by Mr. Segolene Royal marks the first signal to show that the French Government has paid the important roles to nuclear power in the whole sector of energy generation, even in context of gradual reduction of shares of nuclear power for higher rates of renewable energy sources.

After long years of research, actually French companies have introduced the state-of-the-art reactor technologies to meet the highest international standards in field of nuclear power generation. Among them, the most spectacular model is ATMEA1 reactor developed by ATMEA, a JV company established in 2007 by AREVA Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). ATMEA1 is the PWR type reactor of Generation III with the capacity of 1.100 – 1.150 MW and the designed lifecycle of 60 years. The reactor can be used for all kinds of power grids, particularly medium capacity ones. During design stages, ATMEA1 reactor inherited rich experiences of AREVA and MHI where the two companies have designed and developed in total more than 130 reactors over the world.

According to experts, ATMEA1 reactor is listed as candidate technologies for many new build nuclear power projects. Namely, it had been selected for the second Turkish nuclear power plant to be built up in Sinop, Turkey and actually under choice by Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Argentina for future nuclear power projects. Particularly, on basis of experiences and lessons learnt from severe accidents, ATMEA1 especially is the first reactor in the world to integrate the lessons gathered from Fukushima accidents by March 2011. At early design stages, scientists and engineers had taken the top priority objective to secure the solidity of the reactor containment and the operational readiness of coolant systems. Accordingly, the external hazards such as earthquake, explosion caused excessive pressure and floods were already taken for design of main buildings. As the same, the containment building is designed to be made from 1.8 m thick reinforced concrete which can sustain the crash of a large airliner. All of these are capable to secure the long-term solidity of buildings and to prevent leakage of radioactive products in case of severe accidents without needs to evacuate the power plant surrounding population areas.

Early 2012, the French Nuclear Safety Agency (ASN) had confirmed that the ATMEA1 safety options satisfy all the recommendations and technical standards of national regulatory requirements. Next to that, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Authority had made the conclusions by July 2013 that ATMEA1 reactor meets the newest nuclear safety requirements.

Mr. Khamsay Boutsdy, Head, Hanoi ATMEA Representative Office: The most advantages of French nuclear power technologies are the evolutionary and proven nature based on 40 years of operation. The highest safety level of French nuclear power technologies is permanently reviewed by the French ASN which is one of the most internationally reputed, independent and competent national safety authorities in the world. In addition to that, France is rich with large experiences in supports for educational activities, training for Utilities managers and operators, and technical supports to local supply chain. France has also large experience in waste management technologies, including spent fuel. Especially, we have abilities to offer finance schemes via French Export Credit Agencies, combined or not with other countries.


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