The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management aims to achieve and maintain a high level of safety worldwide. The mechanism for achieving this is through the “peer review” of national programmes for spent fuel and radioactive waste management.
The 32 Contracting Parties to date are : Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States. Additionally, Japan has ratified the Joint Convention and will become a Contracting Party later in November.
The review meeting's summary report will provide a first "snapshot" of the state of the safety of spent fuel management and radioactive waste management in States party to the Convention," IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said at the Agency's General Conference of Member States in September. He noted, however, that many States are not yet Contracting Parties, and in that sense this snapshot will be far from global. All States, including those with no nuclear power plants or research reactors, have radioactive waste that must be managed safely, and he urged all States to adhere to the Joint Convention.