National Progress Report: Vietnam

Viet Nam’s consistent policy is to use nuclear energy exclusively for peaceful purposes, while ensuring nuclear safety and security, and in a responsible manner. Viet Nam supports the right of states to use nuclear energy for peaceful uses, as well as efforts aimed at nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Viet Nam’s Prime Minister attended the First Nuclear Security Summit held in the United States in 2010, the Second in the Republic of Korea in 2012 and the Third in the Netherlands in 2014. To fulfill its commitments, Viet Nam has actively engaged in and made every effort to implement the provisions of the Communiqués of the Summits. Since the Third Nuclear Security Summit in 2014, Viet Nam has enhanced its actions to ensure nuclear security and contributed to the global nuclear security architecture through the following measures:

1. Strengthening the security of nuclear and other radioactive materials

Viet Nam has established a national database of radioactive sources and detailed administrative information on all facilities with radioactive sources. Viet Nam supports and seriously implements the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources. Within the framework of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, with assistance of the United States, Viet Nam has upgraded the physical protection system for its only nuclear facility and 24 other facilities with category 1 radioactive sources. (activity ratio above 1000 Ci).

In order to control mobile radioactive sources, Viet Nam has established a radioactive source tracking system. At the same time, a pilot project on Radiation source location tracking system (RADLOT) is implemented with the cooperation among Viet Nam, the Republic of Korea and the IAEA. The project provides the infrastructure necessary for stricter control of these radioactive sources, requiring all facilities having mobile radioactive sources to install radiation source location tracking devices.

To meet demands for the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, Viet Nam has outlined and is preparing to implement a plan to upgrade radioactive spent fuel storage facilities to national storage facilities.

To continue to ensure nuclear security, the Prime Minister of Viet Nam in November 2014 approved the Master Plan for Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development, instructing relevant Ministries and agencies to carry out their respective duties to ensure nuclear security and safety. In 2015, Viet Nam and the IAEA organized the National Seminar on "National regulatory framework for nuclear security for Viet Nam" with a view to implementing the Plan on the improvement of nuclear security infrastructure. In addition, in November 2015, Viet Nam invited an IAEA mission to introduce the International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) with the aim of utilizing this service for a comprehensive analysis of Viet Nam's physical protection infrastructure.

Viet Nam attaches great importance to the enhancement of nuclear security culture. In 2015 and early 2016, three seminars on nuclear security culture were organized specifically for local authorities, radiation facilities and research facilities.

2. Contributing to minimizing the use of HEU

Within the framework of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, Viet Nam participated in the programme of nuclear fuel conversion for Da Lat research reactor from using highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU). Viet Nam has successfully completed this task for its sole nuclear research reactor. All HEU have been returned to Russia. Viet Nam is completely HEU-free.

3. Combatting illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials

Viet Nam shares information on missing radioactive sources by participating in the IAEA's Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB). Since 2014, eight radiation portal monitors have been put into operation at an international airport and twelve other RPMs at a major seaport. An integrated nuclear security network between the customs authority and the nuclear regulatory body has been established, creating a national early warning and response network. In addition, in cooperation with the IAEA, Viet Nam has organized multiple training courses for first responders and Mobile Expert Support Team (MEST) to ensure the sustainability of the radiation detection system and effective response to radiation alerts. New RPMs are to be installed at another international airport and another seaport in a few years.

4. Adhering to multilateral instruments

As a responsible member of the international community, Viet Nam implements its obligations under international treaties on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as those under United Nations Security Council Resolutions, including Resolution 1540. Following the ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement in September 2012, the accession to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (CPPNM) and the ratification of its Amendment in October 2012, Viet Nam joined the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in 2014. Viet Nam is actively considering and preparing to accede to the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

Viet Nam has shared its experience at a regional workshop and the Conference of Points of Contact of the CPPNM to promote ratification of the Amendment to the Convention.

5. Cooperating with international organizations

Viet Nam actively cooperates with the IAEA within the framework of the Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan (INSSP), including threat assessment Design Basis Threat (DBT) approaches, participates in the International Network of Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSC), and is planning to establish a Vietnamese Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Security and Safeguards. Viet Nam has positively contributed to the development of IAEA Guidelines on nuclear security at IAEA consultations participated in the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee; sent consultants to join IAEA assessment visits.

As a member of INTERPOL, Viet Nam has actively participated in seminars and exercises on crime scene management and response organized by INTERPOL. In January 2015, Viet Nam organized the International Workshop on Combatting illicit trafficking of nuclear materials in Ho Chi Minh City.

6. Cooperating with international partners

At the Third Nuclear Security Summit, Viet Nam expressed support for 8 gift-baskets and will continue to support others at the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit.

Viet Nam is a member of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and has participated in many of its activities, such as the Plenary meetings in 2011, 2013 and 2015, as well as workshops on nuclear forensics and nuclear counter-terrorism. Viet Nam has shared its experience on "The Role of Public Awareness in the Provision of Alerts", contributing to the drafting of the Development of Nuclear Detection Architecture.

Viet Nam actively participates in the European Union’s Initiative on Centres of Excellence on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation; helped implement 10 component projects to improve capacities and the legal framework for prevention, detection and response to CBRN risks. Viet Nam is currently developing a National Action Plan on non-proliferation and prevention of CB