Vietnam signs on to world free of 'nuclear terrorism'

TN News

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Vietnam joined more than 50 countries in reaching agreement over norms to promote nuclear security at the recently concluded international summit in South Korea.

The Seoul Communiqué identifies 11 areas of priority in nuclear security: the global nuclear security architecture, nuclear materials, radioactive sources, nuclear security and safety, transportation security, combating illicit trafficking, nuclear forensics, nuclear security culture, information security, international cooperation, and the role of the International Atomic Energy Association.

"We have now set a new milestone for creating a safer and more peaceful world free from nuclear terrorism," Korean President Lee Myung-bak said at the summit's closing ceremony on March 27.

Specific actions set for the areas include limiting the use of highly-enriched uranium, encouraging voluntary contribution to the association, and strengthening the management of nuclear resources, as well as spent fuels and radioactive wastes.

The announcement, reached after a two-day summit, builds on the objectives and measures set out in the 2010 Washington Communiqué at the first international nuclear summit.

Since the Washington Summit, Vietnam has converted its research reactors using highly-enriched uranium fuel to low-enriched uranium.

Represented by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the country followed through on pledges made at the Washington Summit to join the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, with five other countries, Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Dung was cited by a statement on the government website as saying at the summit that Vietnam is working hard with other ASEAN members to maintain a peaceful region free from nuclear weapons. One of the efforts is to encourage countries having the weapons to join the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (1995).

President Lee said "nuclear material that could be used to make more than 100,000 nuclear weapons are scattered around the world."

Vietnam and Korea are working on a pilot project which will establish a system in Vietnam to track radiological materials using GPS technology in cooperation with the IAEA. The project will contribute to securing and preventing the theft of radiological materials.

The Seoul Summit was attended by 58 leaders, including seven new participants Azerbaijan, Denmark, Gabon, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and INTERPOL.

The third summit will be held in Holland in 2014.

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