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Japan and Vietnam were set to launch their first negotiations in Vienna on Friday toward signing a bilateral pact on peaceful use of nuclear technology, the Foreign Ministry said.

Vietnam is planning to build nuclear reactors, and the government has been trying to help Japanese companies win contracts for the projects. Such a treaty would set a legal framework for peaceful use and transfer of nuclear technologies, materials and equipment.

Japan has concluded nuclear agreements with the United States, China and four other countries, together with the European Atomic Energy Community, and is currently in negotiations with the United Arab Emirates, India and South Africa.

The Japanese delegation is led by Tsutomu Arai, director of the ministry’s International Nuclear Energy Cooperation Division.

Tepco nuke venture BLOOMBERG Tokyo Electric Power Co. and a group of companies plan to form a venture in late October to sell nuclear reactors overseas, Ichiro Takekuro, the venture’s future president, said Friday.

Six domestic utilities may join the original group planning the venture, Takekuro said.

He said Vietnam should adopt a liability law for the industry, and the Japanese government should extend insurance coverage to the venture’s activities in Vietnam.

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