On 16 September 2013, the Permanent Representative of Malta, Keith Azzopardi, deposited his country's instrument of accession to the IAEA's Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention) with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.
Director General Amano in his remarks expressed his appreciation of the concrete move taken by the Government of Malta, which will strengthen the mandate of the Agency to support Member States in the safe management of spent fuel as well as radioactive waste.
The Joint Convention entered into force on 18 June 2001 and with Malta's deposit of its instrument of accession there are now 68 Contracting Parties to the Joint Convention.
The Joint Convention, the first legal instrument to directly address the safety of spent fuel management and of radioactive waste management on a global scale, was opened for signature on 29 September 1997. It entered into force on 18 June 2001. The Joint Convention applies to spent fuel and radioactive waste resulting from civilian nuclear reactors and applications and to spent fuel and radioactive waste from military or defence programmes if and when such materials are transferred permanently to and managed exclusively within civilian programmes, or when declared as spent fuel or radioactive waste for the purpose of the Convention by the Contracting Party. The Convention also applies to planned and controlled releases into the environment of liquid or gaseous radioactive materials from regulated nuclear facilities during normal operation.