Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety Is Adopted at Diplomatic Conference

Diplomatic Conference, 9 February 2015

Senior participants in the Diplomatic Conference on the Convention on Nuclear Safety (from left to right), held at IAEA headquarters on 9 February 2015: Peri Lynne Johnson, Director of the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs; IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano; Ambassador Rafael Mariano Grossi of Argentina, President of the CNS Diplomatic Conference; Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General, head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security; and Miroslav Svab, IAEA Senior Nuclear Safety Officer. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

The Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety has been unanimously adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS).

The Declaration, which is part of an ongoing international effort to strengthen nuclear safety in the wake of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan, was approved by consensus by the Contracting Parties to the CNS at a Diplomatic Conference held on 9 February 2015 at the Vienna headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Conference was called to consider a proposal by Switzerland to amend Article 18 of the CNS related to the design and construction of nuclear installations.

Ambassador Rafael Mariano Grossi, president of the Conference and Argentina's Permanent Representative to the International Organisations in Vienna, had put forth the Declaration "as an alternative consensus outcome" when it became clear that "it would not be possible to reach a consensus on the Swiss proposal," according to his opening statement at the Conference.

"By and large, this is a good day for nuclear safety," Ambassador Grossi told a Press Conference after the diplomatic gathering.

The Declaration contains a series of principles to guide countries in the implementation of the objectives of the CNS. A summary report of the discussions was issued after the one-day Conference.

The objective of the CNS, which entered into force on 24 October 1996, is to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety worldwide through the enhancement of national measures and international cooperation. The obligations for the 77 Contracting Parties under the CNS include submitting national reports on the implementation of their obligations under the CNS for "peer review" in meetings held every three years. The last review meeting took place in Vienna from 24 March to 4 April 2014, with more than 800 participants from 69 Contracting Parties attending.