Tags: Vietnam | US | energy | pact

Vietnam Signs Nuclear Energy Pact With U.S.

Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010 09:20 AM

HANOI - Vietnam and the United States signed a pact on Tuesday described as a key foundation for development of peaceful atomic power in the communist country.

"This is an important moment in our bilateral relations," US ambassador Michael Michalak said before endorsing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on nuclear energy cooperation.

"This MOU is a key step in furtherance of our common non-proliferation goals, and a significant building block in the development of Vietnam's peaceful, civilian nuclear power programme."

In November, Vietnam's communist-dominated parliament brushed aside criticism and approved construction of the country's first nuclear power stations. Initial plans call for four reactors, with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts, at least one of which should be operational from 2020.

Vietnam and the United States have signed several deals to boost nuclear cooperation in the past few years, and Michalak said he expects Tuesday's memorandum will be a step towards a legally-binding agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

This "would allow even broader and deeper nuclear cooperation between our two countries and would facilitate the participation of the US companies in the Vietnamese nuclear sector," he said.

Vietnam and the United States this year mark 15 years since they re-established relations after the Vietnam War.

Sources last month said Vietnam has decided to award Russia's state atomic energy firm, Rosatom, a contract to build the country's first nuclear power plant.

Japan is also reportedly interested in helping to build future Vietnamese nuclear power plants.

Vietnam is rapidly modernising with average energy demand growing at about 10 percent per year, authorities say.

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HANOI - Vietnam and the United States signed a pact on Tuesday described as a key foundation for development of peaceful atomic power in the communist country.
Vietnam,US,energy,pact
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2010-20-30
Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010 09:20 AM
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