Industry Urges Congress to Back US-Vietnam Nuclear Agreement

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WASHINGTON, May 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Obama administration has signed a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement with the Republic of Vietnam and sent it to Congress for its review. This agreement is a prerequisite for substantial nuclear cooperation between the two nations. Following is a statement from Richard Myers, the Nuclear Energy Institute's vice president for policy development, planning and supplier programs.

"The nuclear energy industry and U.S. manufacturers and suppliers of nuclear energy technologies encourage Congress to support the nuclear energy cooperation agreement with the Republic of Vietnam. This agreement will broaden U.S. leadership and influence in the critical issues of nuclear safety, security and nonproliferation while creating tens of thousands of American jobs.

"In response to soaring electricity demands, Vietnam is implementing an ambitious national plan to develop up to 14,000 megawatts of nuclear power capacity by 2030 with the first reactors coming on line during the next decade. While Russian and Japanese firms have secured agreements to develop nuclear energy projects in Vietnam, U.S. industry has not had the opportunity to compete in this rapidly expanding market.

"By opening the Vietnamese market to U.S. firms, this agreement has the potential to result in $10 billion to $20 billion in U.S. nuclear exports. According to the Department of Commerce, this could create more than 50,000 high-paying U.S. jobs.

"Vietnam has taken responsible steps toward implementation of its nuclear energy program. It has worked closely with the United States and the international community to develop a transparent and safe program including cooperation with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to lay the foundation for a regulatory infrastructure. Vietnam also has acceded to important nuclear security and nonproliferation treaties.

"In 2008 Vietnam passed its national atomic energy law, which explicitly forbids the development of nuclear weapons and all forms of nuclear proliferation. In 2010, Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States that expressed its intent to rely on international markets for nuclear fuel supplies and not to pursue domestic enrichment capabilities."

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Source:Nuclear Energy Institute