Nuclear safety conventions

The IAEA promotes adherence to and implementation of international legal instruments on nuclear safety adopted under its auspices. This includes the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, as well as the two emergency preparedness and response conventions.

Convention on Nuclear Safety

This Convention was adopted in Vienna on 17 June 1994. Its aim is to commit participating States operating land-based civil nuclear power plants to maintain a high level of safety by setting international benchmarks to which States would subscribe.

The Convention is based on the Parties’ common interest to achieve higher levels of safety that will be developed and promoted through regular meetings. It obliges Parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for “peer review” at meetings that are normally held at IAEA Headquarters. This mechanism is the main innovative and dynamic element of the Convention.

The Convention entered into force on 24 October 1996.

Conferences and meetings - Overview

Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management

This Convention was adopted in Vienna on 5 September 1997. It is the first legal instrument to address the issue of spent fuel and radioactive waste management safety on a global scale. It does so by setting international benchmarks and creating a similar “peer review” process to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

The Convention applies to spent fuel resulting from the operation of civilian nuclear reactors and to radioactive waste resulting from civilian applications. It also applies to spent fuel and radioactive waste from military or defence programmes if such materials are transferred permanently to and managed within exclusively civilian programmes, or when declared as spent fuel or radioactive waste for the purpose of the Convention by the Contracting Party concerned. In addition, it covers planned and controlled releases into the environment of liquid or gaseous radioactive materials from regulated nuclear facilities.

The Joint Convention entered into force on 18 June 2001.

Review meetings - Results

Rules of Procedure and Financial Rules

Guidelines Regarding the Review Process

Guidelines Regarding the Form and Structure of National Reports