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US-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Becomes Effective

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A U.S.-Vietnam agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation has entered into force. The agreement establishes the terms for commercial nuclear trade, research and technology exchanges between the two countries as provided under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act. Following is a statement from Richard Myers, Nuclear Energy Institute vice president for policy development, planning and supplier programs.

"This is a key part of a necessary effort to ensure that United States industry is able to participate in the highly competitive global nuclear energy market. The U.S. role and influence in that multibillion-dollar market is uncertain as global competitors have gained a larger share of it.

"Vietnam is one of those places where international competitors have a head start but, with this agreement in place, U.S. companies can now compete on a more even playing field. The market in Vietnam is estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion. According to the Department of Commerce, that much work would create 50,000 high-paying U.S. jobs and ensure a U.S. presence and influence in a critical industry.

"Just weeks ago, in anticipation of this agreement entering into force, U.S.-based Lightbridge Corporation signed a cooperative memorandum of understanding with Vietnam to support its nuclear energy safety program. That is a prime example of the benefits that will accrue both to U.S. industry specifically and to nuclear safety more broadly as the result of this agreement.

"To support its rapid economic development, Vietnam intends to develop up to 10,000 megawatts of nuclear energy capacity by 2030, with the first reactors beginning construction in the coming decade. This agreement will enable U.S. suppliers to effectively compete against Russian and Japanese suppliers that already have established themselves in the Vietnamese market.

"Vietnam worked closely with the United States to develop a responsible and transparent nuclear energy program. This included Vietnam affirming its intent to rely on international markets for uranium fuel supplies and not to pursue domestic uranium enrichment or used-fuel reprocessing capabilities."

The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at www.nei.org.

CONTACT: Contact NEI's media relations staff at media@nei.org 202.739.8000 during business hours or 703.644.8805 after hours and weekends.

Source:Nuclear Energy Institute