On 14 June 2010 Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed Decision No. 45/2010/QD-TTg, promulgating the regulations on nuclear control ("Regulations") to tighten control over the using, storing, exporting and importing of nuclear materials and radiation sources by domestic and foreign organisations and individuals in the country ("nuclear control activities").

We present below the main provisions of the Regulations.

Scope and applicability

The Regulations provide for control of activities of using, storing, exporting and importing nuclear materials, source nuclear materials, materials and equipment in the nuclear fuel cycle in Vietnam ("activities subject to nuclear control") and apply to:

  • Vietnamese and foreign organisations and individuals that conduct activities subject to nuclear control; and
  • Competent State agencies and international organisations that perform nuclear control activities.

Nuclear control principles

  • Nuclear control activities must comply with Vietnamese law and treaties to which Vietnam is a contract party;
  • Nuclear control activities must be conducted routinely in a continuous and regulated manner; and
  • Nuclear control activities should not impede normal activities of organisations and individuals.

Prohibited acts

The following acts are prohibited:

  • Illegally obtaining access to, possessing, trading in, owning, producing, assembling, transporting or using materials and equipment subject to nuclear control;
  • Refusing to provide information or provi¬ding untruthful information on the activities subject to nuclear control stipulated in the Regulations; and
  • Obstructing the lawful inspection and exami¬nation by competent agencies and organisations.

International inspection

International inspection means nuclear control performed by the International Atomic Energy Agency ("IAEA") to verify reported information and compliance with treaties on nuclear control to which Vietnam is a contract party.

Among other things, international inspection covers:

  • Examining engineering dossiers, nuclear accounting reports and operation dossiers of facilities and equipment subject to nuclear control;
  • Inventorying nuclear materials and source nuclear materials;
  • Applying measures to supervise and prevent unauthorised access; performing independent measuring operations; verifying operating functions and the inspection of measuring devices; and taking other technical measures when necessary.

International inspection will be conducted in the form of case-by-case inspection, periodical inspection or extraordinary inspection by international inspectors appointed by the IAEA.

Responsibilities of the Ministry of Science and Technology

Under the Regulations, the Ministry of Science and Technology is responsible to:

  • Develop and manage a nuclear control database within the national information system on radiation and nuclear safety;
  • Stipulate and specifically guide the nuclear accounting process and compilation of reports on nuclear materials and source nuclear materials, engineering dossiers of facilities subject to nuclear control; reports of the organisations and individuals subject to nuclear control, lists of materials and equipment subject to nuclear control and process and procedures for recognising the organisations and individuals that are no longer subject to nuclear control;
  • Inspect and examine compliance with the regulations on nuclear control;
  • Assume prime responsibility for, and coordinate with ministries and sectors in, reaching agreement with the IAEA on plans on international inspection in Vietnam and implementing these plans;
  • Assume prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in, exchanging and processing information under the nuclear control treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party;
  • Assume prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Finance in, conducting nuclear control of the export and import of materials and equipment subject to nuclear control;
  • Assume prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade in, conducting nuclear control of nuclear power plants;
  • Coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in approving inspectors appointed by the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety; and
  • Make annual or extraordinary reports on nuclear control at the request of the Prime Minister.

The Regulations took effect as from 15 August 2010.