Nuclear safety Vietnam's top priority: foreign ministry

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Safety is Vietnam's top priority in the country's development and application of nuclear power for peaceful purposes, the foreign ministry's representative said Thursday.

Spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi made the statement at the ministry's periodical press conference that day, which was organized as Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his wife prepare to lead a delegation to attend a nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea this March 26-27, VnExpress reported.

As an active member of the international community, Vietnam will join the summit to reiterate its policies of using nuclear power for peaceful purposes and guarantee nuclear safety, the newswire quoted Nghi as saying.

"Vietnam appreciates and is willing to expand international cooperation in the nuclear sector," he said, adding that at the meeting the country will also highlight its efforts to collaborate with other countries to achieve nuclear safety.

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Last week Vietnam signed an agreement with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation to ship back all of its highly-enriched uranium fuel sticks from a nuclear reactor in the Central Highlands resort town of Dalat to Russia by May 2013.

The reactor resumed operation with low-enriched uranium earlier this week after being suspended for more than three months for the switchover.

The second biennial Nuclear Security Summit expects to see the participation of 58 leaders from 53 countries and four international organizations this year. The first summit was held in Washington D.C. in 2010.

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