Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry after the signing of a bilateral civilian nuclear pact on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Brunei on October 10, 2013
US President Barack Obama approved a civilian nuclear pact with Vietnam Monday that could lead to the sale of US reactors to the energy-hungry country, AFP reported.
The US Congress has 90 days to review the pact. If there is no contravening, it will then come into force.
Under the accord, Vietnam committed not to produce radioactive ingredients for nuclear weapons and signed up to “US nonproliferation standards.”
Vietnam agreed 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.
It also pledged to seek components for its fuel cycle on the open, international market.
The country is pursuing nuclear energy in order to deal with its present shortage of energy, aiming to meet over 10 percent of national power demand by 2030.
Vietnam’s nuclear power market is estimated to rank second in Southeast Asia, after only China, with an estimated turnover of US$50 billion in the next two decades.
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