Vietnam and the United States have signed an agreement that will allow U.S. companies to work in Vietnam to develop atomic power for energy.  

US Ambassador Michael Michalak described Tuesday's agreement as an important moment in bilateral relations between the two nations, adding that it is a key step in advancing non-proliferation goals.

In November, Vietnam approved plans to build the country's first two nuclear power plants in the south central province of Ninh Thuan.  Media reports say Vietnam signed a deal with a Russian firm to build the first plant.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam, following the Vietnam War.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.