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Drive the Evolution: Students and Aspiring Professionals Essay Competition on Nuclear Law Extended


Update as of 05/01/2022: The First International Conference on Nuclear Law: the Global Debate has been postponed and will take place from 25 to 29 April 2022.

What is the state of nuclear law today? What do you think are the prospects of nuclear law? How do you think nuclear law should develop to meet the opportunities in the field of nuclear science and technology and challenges, such as climate change or preventing spread of zoonotic diseases that lead to pandemics? The international community is listening, and it is not too late to contribute your voice.

Submit your essay for the 2021 IAEA International Essay Competition on Nuclear Law for Students and Early Career Professionals by 15 November. Five finalists will be selected to present their ideas in a TED talk style event at the IAEA’s First International Conference on Nuclear Law: The Global Debate, to be held in Vienna, Austria, from 25 tp 29 April 2022. All competition entrants will also be considered for contribution to other segments of the Conference programme, including several dedicated to youth and professional development.

The ICNL 2022, the IAEA’s first conference on nuclear law, will bring together experts from around the world to discuss key issues in nuclear safety, security, safeguards, and civil liability, and to formulate a common vision for the future.

“A universally accepted international network of norms and agreements allows us all to benefit from nuclear technology’s many advantages,” said Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA Director General, in his video statement about the conference. “At its centre stands the IAEA, ensuring this vital legal framework remains robust and agile in the ever-changing landscape of technology, opportunities and threats; [and] we need to listen to leading voices, and nurture aspiring professionals.”

The Legal Brief, organized in the style of the popular TED talks, will provide the opportunity for students and aspiring professionals under the age of 35 to share creative ideas, innovative outlook and cross-disciplinary approaches to nuclear law. It will also present the opportunity for the larger international community - from governments, international and non-governmental organizations, nuclear and legal industries, academia, and civil society to view the issues (and maybe even solutions!) through the eyes of the new generation of professionals.

“Nuclear law is a highly specialized body of law that permeates the entire nuclear sector,” said Wolfram Tonhauser, Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear and Treaty Law Section. “As all areas of law, it must evolve to continue to enable the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear technology in the future; the voice of the new generation is indispensable for this evolution.”

In addition to the opportunity to present the winning essays, the finalists will receive cash prizes of €2000 each and a certificate signed by the IAEA Director General. In addition, winning applicants will be provided financial support to travel to and participate in the Conference. The essays will also be published on the IAEA website and in Conference proceedings.

The IAEA especially encourages women and nationals from developing countries to participate in the essay competition. Students and professionals involved in the multiple areas of nuclear law and nuclear industry, including natural and social sciences, engineering, law, international relations and other policy and technical disciplines are encouraged to take part. The IAEA also welcomes entries by early career professionals from governments, authorities, including regulatory bodies, the private legal sector, industry, academia and non-governmental organizations.

Please refer to further details on the Competition Rules, Selection Process, and Terms and Conditions found here before submitting your essay.

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