Russia, Myanmar intensify nuclear tech cooperation

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Russia is deepening its reach into the nuclear sector in Southeast Asia with a tighter cooperation with Myanmar. It is seen the next step to get a grip on the nuclear power business in the region after Russia’s assistance to build nuclear power plants in Vietnam and prepare similar steps in Cambodia and Laos. Russia also won a tender for the preliminary design of a 10-megawatt reactor in Indonesia recently (see graphic below).

With Myanmar, Russia signed a memorandum of understanding “to cooperate in nuclear technology for peaceful purposes” in June last year. Now, as a functioning new government is in place in Myanmar, a working body has been set up discuss further steps for the nuclear cooperation, according to U Khin Maung Latt, Director General of the Department of Technology Promotion and Coordination in Myanmar Ministry of Education.

Both sides insist that there was currently is no plan to build a nuclear power plant, according to a representative from Russian state-owned nuclear giant Rosatom which signed the memorandum.

“We are discussing cooperation of non-energy nuclear applications such as developing human resources, agriculture and health sectors with nuclear technology,” Egor Simonov, regional vice president for Southeast Asia of Rosatom, told the media on October 26 in Naypyitaw, adding that a nuclear power plant would be subject to a decision on Myanmar’s government.

Myanmar has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world, currently at about 30 per cent, supported  from hydro dams and natural gas- and coal-fired plants. The target is to reach full coverage by 2030, which is particularly important for the country’s growing industry base, infrastructure and rural households.

The country’s Energy Master Plan 2030 released in 2015 does not specifically mention a nuclear power strategy. Most of the future energy needs will be supplied by traditional energy sources, it says.

Myanmar’s initial plan was to boost coal’s share to a third by the end of the next decade from just three per cent at present and to slash the contribution of hydro to 38 per cent from 63 per cent, according to the plan.

But due to resistance from people the Myanmar government toned down its coal power plant projects to the favour of hydropower. Plans are now that hydropower share should be at 50 to 55 per cent by 2030, Imports of liquefied natural gas and renewable energy., mainly solar power, could make up for some of the drop in coal use.

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Russia is deepening its reach into the nuclear sector in Southeast Asia with a tighter cooperation with Myanmar. It is seen the next step to get a grip on the nuclear power business in the region after Russia's assistance to build nuclear power plants in Vietnam and prepare similar steps in Cambodia and Laos. Russia also won a tender for the preliminary design of a 10-megawatt reactor in Indonesia recently (see graphic below). With Myanmar, Russia signed a memorandum of understanding "to cooperate in nuclear technology for peaceful purposes" in June last year. Now, as a functioning new government is...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Russia is deepening its reach into the nuclear sector in Southeast Asia with a tighter cooperation with Myanmar. It is seen the next step to get a grip on the nuclear power business in the region after Russia’s assistance to build nuclear power plants in Vietnam and prepare similar steps in Cambodia and Laos. Russia also won a tender for the preliminary design of a 10-megawatt reactor in Indonesia recently (see graphic below).

With Myanmar, Russia signed a memorandum of understanding “to cooperate in nuclear technology for peaceful purposes” in June last year. Now, as a functioning new government is in place in Myanmar, a working body has been set up discuss further steps for the nuclear cooperation, according to U Khin Maung Latt, Director General of the Department of Technology Promotion and Coordination in Myanmar Ministry of Education.

Both sides insist that there was currently is no plan to build a nuclear power plant, according to a representative from Russian state-owned nuclear giant Rosatom which signed the memorandum.

“We are discussing cooperation of non-energy nuclear applications such as developing human resources, agriculture and health sectors with nuclear technology,” Egor Simonov, regional vice president for Southeast Asia of Rosatom, told the media on October 26 in Naypyitaw, adding that a nuclear power plant would be subject to a decision on Myanmar’s government.

Myanmar has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world, currently at about 30 per cent, supported  from hydro dams and natural gas- and coal-fired plants. The target is to reach full coverage by 2030, which is particularly important for the country’s growing industry base, infrastructure and rural households.

The country’s Energy Master Plan 2030 released in 2015 does not specifically mention a nuclear power strategy. Most of the future energy needs will be supplied by traditional energy sources, it says.

Myanmar’s initial plan was to boost coal’s share to a third by the end of the next decade from just three per cent at present and to slash the contribution of hydro to 38 per cent from 63 per cent, according to the plan.

But due to resistance from people the Myanmar government toned down its coal power plant projects to the favour of hydropower. Plans are now that hydropower share should be at 50 to 55 per cent by 2030, Imports of liquefied natural gas and renewable energy., mainly solar power, could make up for some of the drop in coal use.

russia-nulcear-power-projects-in-southeast-asia

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