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United States and Vietnam Agree to Cooperate in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - - The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) signed an arrangement with Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology to work together on efforts to use nuclear energy peacefully. Demonstrating both countries' commitment to controlling nuclear proliferation risks, NNSA will assist Vietnam as it prepares to develop civilian nuclear power safely and securely.

"This cooperative arrangement will help Vietnam to adopt civilian nuclear energy so that it can meet its growing energy demands, and it helps Vietnam do it in ways that will reduce potential nuclear proliferation concerns," said William Tobey, NNSA's deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation.

Monte Mallin, director of NNSA's Office of Global Security Engagement and Cooperation, signed the arrangement on behalf of the United States, and Dr. Vuong Huu Tan, chairman of Vietnam's Atomic Energy Commission, signed on behalf of Vietnam.

Under the new arrangement, scientists from the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge national laboratories will collaborate with Vietnamese technical personnel on specific measures that promote nonproliferation and security objectives. This work includes reactor operations and safety, radiation protection, environmental radiological monitoring and radioactive waste disposition. Future collaborations will address nuclear safeguards and regulatory controls.

Since 1982, the Department of Energy and NNSA have been promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy by establishing partnerships between its national laboratories and nuclear research institutes around the world. Through technical assistance and training, the program supports nuclear infrastructure development that promotes nuclear nonproliferation, and also helps to demonstrate the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371