On the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Brunei, US secretary of state John Kerry and Vietnam's foreign minister Pham Binh Minh signed a legally binding government-to-government Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy Agreement, known as a Section 123 Agreement. This will allow the transfer of nuclear energy-related materials and components between the two countries.
Following the signing, Kerry noted, "Vietnam has the second-largest market, after China, for nuclear power in East Asia, and our companies can now compete. What is a $10 billion market today is expected to grow into a $50 billion market by the year 2030."
The USA and Vietnam have signed several agreements to boost nuclear cooperation over the past few years, including a 2007 agreement between the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology for cooperation and information exchange. A similar agreement was signed in 2008 between the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety.
Vietnam has also signed nuclear cooperation agreements with Russia, France, China, South Korea, Japan and Canada.
Plans call for Vietnam to have a total of eight nuclear power reactors in operation by 2027. Russia and Japan have already agreed to build and finance Vietnam's first four nuclear power units - two Russian-designed VVERs at Ninh Thuan and two Japanese reactors at Vinh Hai - although construction has yet to begin.
Researched and written by World Nuclear News