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IAEA Assists Efforts to Strengthen Kuwait’s Legal Framework

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Participants at the national workshop on the legal frameworks governing the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. (Photo: Ministry of Health)

An IAEA legislative assistance mission to Kuwait, including a national workshop on the legal frameworks governing the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, was held from 1 to 5 December 2019.

The workshop provided an opportunity to discuss issues concerning the importance of establishing an adequate and comprehensive national legal framework for the the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear technology, as well as relevant international legal instruments on safety, security, safeguards and civil liability for nuclear damage.

“This workshop will provide us with an opportunity to learn more about the relevant international legal instruments, including those that the country is not yet party, in particular the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management and the nuclear liability instruments adopted under the auspices of the IAEA, such as the 1997 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the 1997 Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage,” Fadhel Ali Haider Ghuloum, Director, Radiation Protection Department (RPD) of the Ministry of Health, said.

The IAEA Office of Legal Affairs also hosted a bilateral meeting with Buthaina Al Mudhaf, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Affairs of the Ministry of Health, to discuss national radiation protection and safety legislation. The meeting provided an opportunity to highlight the responsibilities and regulatory functions of RPD, the Radiation Protection Committee (RPC) and the Ministry of Health. Conflicting regulatory, user and development responsibilities and the independence of the regulatory body were also discussed.

An initial review of a draft decree was successfully completed at the request of representatives. The review was to determine whether the draft should be strengthened in line with the relevant international legal instruments, IAEA safety standards and guidance documents. This initial IAEA review of the draft modified decree will help us in preparing a revised draft. Although there are still some outstanding issues, which need further discussion within the country, it has been important to have the IAEA’s initial observations at an early stage,” said Nader Al-Awadhi, Executive Commissioner for International Cooperation at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. “We look forward to working with the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs next year in our efforts to strengthen the legal framework.” 

The mission to Kuwait was implemented under IAEA Technical Cooperation Project INT0096 to establish and enhance national legal frameworks.

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