President Barack Obama approved a civilian nuclear deal with Vietnam Feb. 24 that could lead to the sale of U.S. nuclear reactors to the country, according to the Bangkok Post.
The U.S. signed the agreement with Vietnam in October 2013 which would allow U.S. businesses to invest in Vietnam’s nuclear energy market. Vietnam would not be able to enrich or reprocess U.S.-owned nuclear materials under the pact and signed up to U.S. nonproliferation standards.
“I have determined that the performance of the agreement will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security,” President Obama was quoted as saying in the article.
Vietnam faces power shortages and is expected to grow its nuclear market by $50 billion by 2030. Officials want nuclear to provide more than 10 percent of its total power generation needs by 2030, the article said. Vietnam is currently working with Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 and be completed by 2020. A Japanese consortium is also building two nuclear units in the same province that will enter commercial operations by 2024 and 2025.
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