A senior Vietnamese official has underscored Vietnam ’s contribution to the international community’s efforts to promote the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purpose, nuclear safety and security, non-proliferation, and international cooperation in the field with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) playing the central role.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Le Dinh Tien made the remark at the plenary session of the 57 th IAEA General Conference in Vienna , Austria on September 17.

Tien said as a responsible member of the global community in nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation, Vietnam completed the fuel conversion programme for its Da Lat research reactor during the past year.

The country has also ratified the supplementary protocol to its Safeguards Agreement with IAEA, joined the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and ratified the revised section of the convention, the deputy minister said.

At the same time, he affirmed that Vietnam has basically completed procedures to soon join the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and Radioactive Waste Management.

Deputy Minister Tien also spoke about the process of Vietnam ’s nuclear power project, and the use of nuclear power to serve socio-economic development in the country over the past year.

On the sidelines of the event, the Vietnamese delegation held meetings with foreign counterparts and IAEA’s competent agencies with a view to expanding bilateral and multilateral cooperation in nuclear security, safety, inspection and infrastructure building.

Earlier, at the opening of the 57 th IAEA General Conference on September 16, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano highlighted the outcomes of two ministerial conferences held by the IAEA during the past year, which forecast that nuclear power will account for 17-29 percent of the world’s electricity output in the next 20 years.

He said IAEA stands ready to help countries with nuclear application and management of used nuclear materials and radioactive waste.

At the session, which will last until September 20, Brunei and Bahamas became the two latest members of the IAEA, while Amano was re-elected for the second four-year term as IAEA Director General.

The session will discuss IAEA’s agenda and activities, adopt a budget for next year and elect members to its governing board and executive bodies.-VNA