Most EU Member States are contracting parties to a number of international safety conventions. These are:
The Safety Conventions
- Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) which addresses the safety of nuclear power plants.
- Joint Convention on the safety of spent nuclear fuel and the safety of radioactive waste.
The Emergency Conventions
- Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident requires countries to provide prompt notification of any nuclear accident that may affect other countries.
Convention on Assistance in the case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency addresses the provision of prompt assistance in the event of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency.
The Security Convention
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities (CPPNM) which addresses the security of nuclear material and facilities and is the only international legally binding undertaking in the area of physical protection of nuclear material and facilities.
The aim of the International Conventions is to legally commit participating countries to maintain a high level of safety. It does this by setting international safety requirements on government, regulatory bodies and the nuclear community. These requirements are based on the IAEA Safety Fundamentals . Learn more on the safety conventions.
How do the Conventions support nuclear safety in the EU?
The international conventions on nuclear safety give the EU public assurance that safety is given due priority within the EU. Because they are global in nature, they also give some assurance that safety is given due consideration in those other countries which adhere to them. Indeed, for the Nuclear Safety Convention and the Joint Convention most countries publish their national reports and some provide details of the written questions and answers sessions during the peer review process. This information can often be found on the national websites of ENSREG's members.
What are the requirements of the international safety conventions?
For the Nuclear Safety Convention and the Joint Convention on the safety of spent fuel and the safety of radioactive waste, contracting parties must demonstrate compliance with the Conventions and undergo a peer review by the other contracting parties.
This entails every three years:
- preparing a national report on the status of compliance with the Articles of the Conventions;
- reviewing national reports of other countries and submitting written questions and comments on these;
- responding in writing to questions asked by other countries;
- attending the review meetings at the IAEA to present their case for compliance with the Convention and respond to verbal peer review by other countries;
- implementing any actions identified during the peer review, both generic and country specific (these actions are reviewed at the following convention meeting)