Updated  
February, 26 2014 09:33:00

US President approves civilian nuclear deal with Viet Nam

Viet Nam committed not to enrich or reprocess uranium, key steps in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, in the deal signed on the sidelines of an East Asia summit in Brunei in October.

HA NOI (VNS) — US President Barack Obama approved a civilian nuclear pact with Viet Nam on Monday, paving the way for the sale of US reactors, fuel and nuclear technology to the Southeast Asian country.

The move formally opened a 90-day review process in Congress. If no legislation is passed contravening the accord, it will then come into force.

Under the memorandum to the US Energy Department, the US President affirmed that the agreement would boost co-operation between the two nations and "will not constitute an unreasonable risk to the common defense and security."

Viet Nam committed not to enrich or reprocess uranium, key steps in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, in the deal signed on the sidelines of an East Asia summit in Brunei in October.

Viet Nam also agreed to rely on the international market for its nuclear fuel supply rather than enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium itself.

Viet Nam's market for nuclear power — already the second largest in East Asia after China — is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030.

Viet Nam faces energy shortages and is pursuing nuclear energy, officials have said, with a plan that calls for the first nuclear power plant to be in commercial operation by 2020. — VNS

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