Vietnam's legislature on Tuesday endorsed the government's decision to scrap plans to build the country's first two nuclear power plants.

A statement from the government announcing the endorsement said cheaper renewable energy and power imports were available and that investment should be made in more urgent infrastructure needs.

The National Assembly in 2009 approved plans to build two nuclear power plants with combined capacity of 4,000 megawatts. Construction contracts had been awarded to companies from Russia and Japan.

Construction was initially scheduled to start in 2014 but was delayed several times.

State media have reported that the nuclear power plants were not economically viable because of cheaper sources of power and that the costs of the plants had doubled to $18 billion.