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US, Vietnam sign agreement on civil nuclear power

Reaffirming their commitment to the responsible expansion of civilian nuclear power, the US and Vietnam have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the civilian sector.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2010 08:34 IST

Reaffirming their commitment to the responsible expansion of civilian nuclear power, the US and Vietnam have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the civilian sector.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak and Vietnamese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Le Dinh Tien on Tuesday signed the MoU.

The two countries reiterated that this expansion must proceed in a manner that maximises nuclear safety and security and minimises proliferation risk.

"This MoU will open the door for increased cooperation in such areas as the development of human resources and safety and security infrastructure, access to reliable sources of nuclear fuel, and the management of radioactive waste and used fuel," the State Department said.

Vietnam has demonstrated its commitment to responsible expansion of nuclear power through careful steps taken in cooperation with the US, among other international partners, towards the development of the robust nuclear infrastructure needed to oversee the deployment of its first nuclear power plants over the coming decades, it said.

The State Department said Vietnam has also demonstrated its commitment to greater nuclear security, in particular through its efforts to improve physical protection at the Dalat Nuclear Research Institute and return its highly enriched uranium (HEU) fresh fuel to Russia in September 2007.

"The two countries are working together to further our mutual nonproliferation goals by fully converting the Dalat Nuclear Research Reactor from HEU to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel and returning the HEU spent fuel to Russia by the end of 2012," it said.

The US also looks forward to a joint effort on deployment of radiation detection equipment at Vietnam's major seaports as part of the nonproliferation collaboration between the two countries, the State Department added.