The Convention on Nuclear Safety was adopted in Vienna on 17 June 1994. The Convention was drawn up during a series of expert level meetings from 1992 to 1994 and was the result of considerable work by Governments, national nuclear safety authorities and the Agency's Secretariat. Its aim is to legally commit participating States operating land-based nuclear power plants to maintain a high level of safety by setting international benchmarks to which States would subscribe.
The obligations of the Parties are based to a large extent on the principles contained in the IAEA Safety Fundamentals document The Safety of Nuclear Installations. These obligations cover for instance, siting, design, construction, operation, the availability of adequate financial and human resources, the assessment and verification of safety, quality assurance and emergency preparedness
The Convention is an incentive instrument. It is not designed to ensure fulfillment of obligations by Parties through control and sanction but is based on their common interest to achieve higher levels of safety which will be developed and promoted through regular meetings of the Parties. The Convention obliges Parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for "peer review" at meetings of the Parties to be held at the IAEA. This mechanism is the main innovative and dynamic element of the Convention.
For additional information see the General Conference document on Measures to Strengthen International Co-Operation in Nuclear, Radiation and Waste Safety, particularly Annex 1. GC(44)/INF/4.
Date of adoption: 17 June 1994
Opened for signature: 20 September 1994
Place: Vienna, Austria
Date of entry into force: 24 October 1996
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
Depositary Governments: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
More information about the Convention and review meetings is available from the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.