After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Vietnam suspended its nuclear plans and waited for more than a decade before reviving them.
But Vietnam was undeterred by last year’s Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl, and is racing ahead with plans to start construction of its first reactor in 2014, which should go online six years later.
It aims to follow that up with another 14 reactors by 2030.
At least five other members of the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are studying nuclear power as an option to meet demand for energy in the fast-growing region of 600 million people.
Proponents say atomic energy is unavoidable for the region, and the prohibitive cost of alternatives will help to drive the sector.
Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapo...