"I actually have a pretty good collection of Arms Control Today, which I have read throughout my career. It's one of the few really serious publications on arms control issues."
– Gary Samore
Former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and WMD Terrorism
Vietnam Nuclear Pact Sent to Congress

Daniel Horner

The Obama administration submitted to Congress on May 8 an agreement for civilian nuclear cooperation with Vietnam, a pact that could feed a long-standing debate over how the United States pursues its nonproliferation policies through such agreements.

A key issue in the debate is how hard the United States should press its potential nuclear trade partners to forgo uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing, activities that are considered sensitive because they can be used to produce nuclear explosive material.

The preamble to the agreement expresses Vietnam’s intent “to rely on existing international markets for nuclear fuel services, rather than acquiring sensitive nuclear technologies.” The Obama administration had described this commitment after Vietnam and the United States initialed the agreement last October (see ACT, November 2013), but the text was not made public until last month.