08:39 | 17/10/2015 Industry
The US is willing to help Vietnam in its nuclear energy programme, said Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation.
A facility at the nuclear reactor in Da Lat city, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam has gone in the right direction, gearing up nuclear engineers and experts to operate facilities, said Countryman, who spoke to local press in Hanoi on October 13. The country has also succeeded in setting up agencies to make regulations on nuclear power.
His office and the US Department of Energy have helped Vietnam prepare for challenges it will face when it starts producing electricity through nuclear energy, Countryman said.
Vietnam needed nuclear experts who were able to operate the most advanced technologies, he stressed, noting that the US, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other partners would continue to assist Vietnam regardless of whether or not the country bought US technology.
Countryman underlined strides seen in Vietnam–US relations since their leaders lifted their ties to a comprehensive partnership in 2013. The countries cooperate in more than 100 fields – the most notable being the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, negotiations on which were concluded on October 5.
Vietnam and the US inked a civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2014. Countryman’s current visit to the Southeast Asian nation was to discuss Vietnam’s wish to become the first ASEAN country to make electricity through nuclear energy, he said.
Answering reporters’ questions on the connection between the TPP and energy, Countryman said they have an indirect link. Energy use would increase if Vietnam succeeded in fostering its economic growth through the trade pact. Meanwhile, nuclear energy did not emit carbon and it would help ensure the realisation of commitments to climate change prevention.
During his stay in Vietnam, the official had working sessions with local agencies to discuss political and maritime security, along with Vietnam’s improvement of its regulations and capacity in controlling traded goods./.