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Obama approves Vietnam nuclear deal

US President Barack Obama speaks to the members of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, on February 24, 2014President Barack Obama Monday approved a civilian nuclear pact with Vietnam which could lead to the sale of US reactors to Washington’s energy-hungry former war foe. Under the accord, US officials said, Vietnam committed not to produce radioactive ingredients for nuclear weapons and signed up to US nonproliferation standards, which the White House bills as the strongest in the world. Vietnam agreed not to enrich or reprocess uranium, key steps in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, in the deal signed on the sidelines of an East Asia summit in Brunei in October. Vietnam’s market for nuclear power — already the second largest in East Asia after China — is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030.

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