US-Vietnam nuke deal will likely allow enrichment

August 7, 2010 10:52

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has told US lawmakers that a nuclear cooperation deal with Vietnam is unlikely to include a promise by the Hanoi government not to enrich uranium, congressional aides said.

The United States had sought a no-enrichment pledge, which the State Department promotes as the "gold standard" for civilian nuclear cooperation accords.

It would have been modeled on a deal last year in which the United Arab Emirates pledged, in return for US nuclear equipment and reactors, not to enrich uranium or extract plutonium from used reactor fuel — procedures that would provide material that could be used in a nuclear weapon.

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