At the 28th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Vietnam, July 22, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged ASEAN members to consider nuclear energy as an alternative source needed to sustain the region’s rising economic growth and energy demand. In particular, he emphasized that the nuclear development effort should be coordinated across the region. In his opening speech, he called on the ASEAN ministers to "consider the possibility of cooperation in using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as a source of alternative low-carbon and sustainable energy."
One of the fastest growing economic areas in the world, the region still faces periodic blackouts. Although several countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia are considering nuclear energy plans, there is currently no operational nuclear power station in the region. Vietnam itself plans to start building the first nuclear plant in 2014, with the help of Russian technology. Such move, however, is likely to raise safety and nuclear proliferation concerns.
Vietnam calls on Asean nations to embrace nuclear power [BBC, 22 July 2010]
Vietnam urges SE Asia to consider nuclear power use [Reuters Africa, 22 July 2010]