U.S.-Mexico nuclear cooperation agreement enters into force

The US flag (L), and the Mexico's flag are pictured on the international border bridge Paso del Norte in between El Paso US and Ciudad Juarez in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico December 28, 2016. Picture taken on December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY, Nov 2 (Reuters) - A bilateral agreement on nuclear energy between the United States and Mexico entered into force, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday, adding that it will enhance cooperation on energy security.

The agreement is the "first bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation" between the two countries, the department said in a statement.

Known as 123 agreements, such accords pave the way for delicate issues such as the peaceful transfer of nuclear material, equipment and information from the United States in adherence with nonproliferation requirements.

"This agreement will further strengthen the U.S.-Mexico relationship and deepen our cooperation on energy security," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Twitter.

Mexico and the United States signed the agreement in 2018, but Mexico's Senate did not give its approval until March.

The Mexican state power utility, Comision Federal de Electricidad, has one nuclear plant operating two reactors. Energy Minister Rocio Nahle has described nuclear energy as "clean, safe, constant and profitable."

White House climate envoy John Kerry traveled to Mexico last week to discuss renewable energy with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, focusing on lithium, batteries and the auto industry.

Earlier talks of cooperation in the energy sector have centered on dramatically cutting natural gas flaring and methane emissions by state oil company Pemex.

Reporting by Brendan O'Boyle; Editing by William Mallard

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