Obama adopts civilian nuclear pact with Vietnam

VIR, Feb 25, 2014

US President Barack Obama on February 24 approved a civilian nuclear deal with Vietnam, paving the way for the US to sell its reactors to this Southeast Asian nation.

“I have determined that the performance of the agreement will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defence and security,” Obama said in a memorandum to the Energy Department.

The president’s move opened a 90-day review process in Congress, and if no legislation is passed contradicting the accord, it will then come into effect.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh initialed an agreement for civilian nuclear cooperation on the sidelines of an East Asia summit in Brunei in October 2013.

Under the deal, Vietnam agreed not to enrich or reprocess uranium, key steps in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. It committed not to produce radioactive ingredients for nuclear weapons and signed up to US non-proliferation standards.

Experts say Vietnam’s nuclear power market ranks second in East Asia after China and it is expected to grow to US$50 billion in the next two decades.

The country hopes nuclear power will meet 10% of its power generation needs by 2030.

Vietnam is seeking viable solutions for building two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan province.

Source VOV

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