|Kwaku Aning, IAEA Deputy Director General (DDG) and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation (TC), paid a four-day official visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on 20 – 23 August 2012. He was welcomed by H.E. Nguyen Thien Nhan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Mr. Nhan commended the fruitful cooperation between the IAEA and Vietnam, and expressed a desire for further assistance from the IAEA in the future. Mr. Aning, in turn, conveyed the IAEA’s readiness to continue providing technical support to Vietnam in all areas where nuclear techniques play a strategic role.
The discussions during his official visit centred on the provision of the IAEA’s technical support in agriculture and food management, human health, industrial applications, and the IAEA’s assistance in the establishment of the necessary infrastructure for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant (NPP).
As a newcomer country embarking on nuclear power, Vietnam has taken considerable steps towards the development of a national nuclear infrastructure. With the IAEA’s assistance, the country has outlined priority activities for the establishment of nuclear infrastructure, including reviewing nuclear law, the development of national policies and regulations for nuclear safety, and building human resource capacities. During his meeting with Mr. Nhan, Mr. Aning encouraged Vietnam to pursue an integrated approach for the regulatory infrastructure development.
Mr. Aning also congratulated Vietnam for the significant advance made in the area of agriculture development and food security. Through the IAEA’s technical cooperation support, Vietnam has extensively applied nuclear technology for enhancing the productivity and quality of agricultural products, such as rice.
In addition, Mr. Aning met with the UN Resident Coordinator to Vietnam, Ms. Pratibha Mehta and the UN Country Team to consider potential areas of cooperation with other UN organizations. A discussion was held concerning linking the IAEA’s technical support to Vietnam to the framework of the UN One Plan.
During his visit, IAEA DDG met with several other government officials including H.E. Mr. Le Dinh Tien, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, H.E Ms. Nguyen Thi Xuyen, Vice Minister of Health and H.E. Ms. Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, H.E Mr. Hoang Quoc Vuong Vice Minister of Industry and Trade and H.E Mr. Le Luong Minh, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and H.E Prof. Bui Van Ga, Vice Minister of Education and Training.
He also visited the key national institutions including Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS), Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission (VINATOM) and Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency (VAEA), as well as the Research and Development Centre for Radiation Technology (VINAGAMMA) in Ho Chi Minh City and the Nuclear Research Reactor and the Centre for Application of Nuclear Technique for Industry in Da Lat City.