As of now, there are 31 countries with nuclear power. But that number is set to rise... And next on the list of nuclear-powered nations is Vietnam. With coal prices going up and blackouts across Vietnam, the government has agreed to speed up and double the scale of its first nuclear power plant project from 2,000 to 4,000 MW. The plant, in the province of Ninh Thuan, will hopfully be finished by 2020.
While this is good news for energy-hungry citizens of Vietnam, what is worrying is how much big multinationals are pushing to get a bigger and bigger slice of the lucrative nuclear business. The US-based Westinghouse Power Company, for example, already provides the technology for almost half of all the world's reactors. And it's now touting for more business in Vietnam: It introduced its nuclear technology to impressed high-level government officials at a conference in Hanoi this month.
It was also reported this month that US exporters are "restless" to start exporting nuclear technology to India, following its recent nuclear trade deal. What the world doesn't want is for a handful of firms to have too tight a grip on the nuclear industry (we all know how terrible that has been for the oil industry in the past), but unless more countries develop their own nuclear expertise, it looks like that's what might just happen.