Secretary Ernest Moniz Announcing Removal of the Last Remaining HEU from the Dalat Nuclear Research Institute in Vietnam

Secretary Ernest Moniz
Announcing Removal of the Last Remaining
HEU from the Dalat Nuclear Research Institute in Vietnam
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Vienna, Austria
July 2, 2013

I am pleased to join Ambassador Nguyen, Ambassador Berdennikov, and Director General Nolke to announce the removal of all highly enriched uranium from the Dalat Nuclear Research Institute in Vietnam.

With the completion of this shipment to Russia, Vietnam will become free of all HEU.

This material will now be downblended into low enriched uranium for use in power reactors.

Speaking in Prague in 2009, President Obama laid out an ambitious agenda for nuclear security – challenging the international community to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism by securing all vulnerable material around the world.

Today we mark the eleventh country from which all HEU will have been removed since that historic speech in 2009.

And with this accomplishment, we will have removed nearly all highly enriched uranium from Southeast Asia – a truly remarkable achievement.

I would like to thank my colleagues from Vietnam, Russia, Canada and the IAEA for their cooperation in this mission.

Securing and eliminating nuclear material requires a long-term commitment.

The United States has been working with Vietnam since 2004 to convert its reactor from HEU to low-enriched uranium, to remove its fresh and spent HEU, and to ensure that the HEU was adequately protected until it could be removed.

These efforts could not have been successful without the outstanding support of our partners.

Today, we have much to be happy about.

I applaud the hard work of our team of nuclear security experts and technicians that made this accomplishment possible.

But our work is not done.

Highly enriched uranium still exists in too many places where there are viable alternatives.

That is why the United States is working with our international partners to implement technologies to minimize and eventually eliminate the civilian use of HEU.

Of course, this announcement is particularly timely as it takes place during this International Conference on Nuclear Security.

The United States remains firmly committed to working with the IAEA and our international partners to secure vulnerable material and support a safe and secure nuclear power industry as a low carbon energy source.

Thank you.