On 18 August 2010 Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued Decision No. 1558/QD-TTg (Decision 1558) approving a training and human resource development project in the field of atomic energy (Project). Decision 1558 was released in order to start training professional personnel to operate and maintain the first nuclear power plant as set out in Vietnam's master plan for developing nuclear power (see Mayer Brown's Legal Update of "Decision 906 Approving Vietnam's Master Planning for Development of Nuclear Power" on 25 August 2010). On 25 January 2010 the Government issued Decree No. 07/2010/ND-CP detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Atomic Energy (Decree 07). Decree 07 contained measures to attract people to work in the nuclear sector.
We discuss the main contents of the Project below.
Vietnam's plan for building nuclear power plants
Under Decision 906, Vietnam plans to build nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 15,000-16,000 megawatts in its Central region to meet 10% of the country’s total electricity demand by 2030. The first plant is scheduled to break ground in Ninh Thuan Province in 2014 and to start operating in 2020.
Decision 1558 was issued to prepare professional personnel for operating and maintaining this plant.
Key provisions of Decision 1558
Objectives of the Project
The overall object is to train professional personnel in the nuclear sector to ensure the quantity and quality of professionals to meet the needs of the country’s nuclear energy development programme.
The specific objectives of the Project are:
- By 2015, to invest in upgrading the university education system with the initial focus on upgrading five universities (the College of Natural Sciences under the National University in Hanoi, the College of Natural Sciences under the National University in Ho Chi Minh City, the Hanoi University of Technology, Da Lat University, and Electric Power University) and the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute’s Nuclear Training Centre, offering specialised training in nuclear technology-related sciences. The government expects at least 250 students to enrol each year.
- By 2020, to train 2,400 engineers, 350 MAs and PhDs with expertise in nuclear power as well as 650 engineers, 250 PhDs and MAs in nuclear power management, application and security. Several hundred of these trainees will be sent overseas for education.
Measures to implement the Project
The Project has a budget of VND 3 trillion (about USD 154 million) to the year 2020.
The training programme will be carried out under the authority of a national steering committee on training and human resources (Committee), headed by one of Vietnam’s deputy prime ministers. The Minister of Education will be the deputy head of the Committee and the Ministries of Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Public Health, Planning and Investment, Home Affairs will each have a representative to serve as member of the Committee.
Another measure is to invite experts from countries with advanced nuclear power industries to train Vietnamese technicians on the technologies used in nuclear power and safety techniques.
Incentives to attract nuclear power personnel under Decree 07
Decree 07 defines "senior experts" as those who have a deep knowledge, high expertise and practical experience in certain specialised fields of atomic energy and satisfy the criteria set by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Senior experts working in State agencies and institutions may enjoy preferences and incentives in:
- Recruitment and employment;
- Appointment to posts in charge of scientific and technological tasks or managerial posts;
- Favourable working conditions;
- Salaries suitable to their expertise and practical experience;
- Travel and accommodations;
- Participation in scientific exchange and international cooperation programmes;
- Preferential occupational allowance up to 70% of their rank or grade salaries.
Graduates with very good or higher academic results in atomic energy specialties will receive priority in recruitment and employment by atomic energy State management agencies, training establishments or research and application institutions.
University and graduate students in atomic energy specialties in Vietnam may have their tuition paid by the State and be granted scholarships. For those studying abroad, State tuition support may also be available.
Decision 1558 came into force with effect from 18 August 2010.
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