Objective: To achieve and maintain a high level of safety in spent fuel and radioactive waste management and to ensure that during all stages of these processes there are effective defences against potential hazards so that individual, society and the environment are protected from harmful effects of ionising radiation.
Summary of provisions: Radioactive waste and spent fuel are defined in article 2. The Convention applies to the safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management resulting from the operation of civilian nuclear reactors and civilian applications respectively (art. 3). Each Contracting Party is to take appropriate steps to ensure that individuals, society and the environment are adequately protected against radiological hazards (art. 4 and 11). In so doing, each Contracting Party agrees, inter alia, to provide for effective protection of individuals, society and the environment, strive to avoid actions that impose reasonably predictable impacts on future generations greater than those permitted for the current generation and aim to avoid imposing undue burdens on future generations (art. 4 and 11). Regarding the siting of proposed facilities, each Contracting Party agrees inter alia to evaluate the likely safety impact of such facilities on individuals, society and the environment, to make information on their safety available to members of the public and to consult Contracting Parties in the vicinity of such facilities (art. 6 and 13). Moreover, the Contracting Parties agree to take the appropriate steps to ensure that the design and construction of such facilities provide for suitable measures to limit possible radiological impacts on individuals, society and the environment and take into account technical provisions for decommissioning (art. 7 and 14). Systematic environmental assessments, covering its operating lifetime, and the period following closure in the case of waste, are to be carried out and updated when necessary (art. 8 and 15). If during any period of active institutional control, an unplanned release of radioactive materials into the environment is detected, intervention measures are implemented if necessary (art. 17). Each Contracting Party undertakes to establish and maintain a legislative and regulatory framework and body to govern the safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management (art. 19 and 20). Article 27 defines obligations regarding transboundary movement.
Institutional mechanisms: A reporting procedure is established by article 32. Meetings of the Parties are established to review the reports submitted by Contracting Parties (art. 30). The International Atomic Energy Agency is to provide secretariat for the meetings of the Contracting Parties (art. 37).
(Source: IUCN ELC, 08.2005) Article 39 4. allows international organizations to become Parties to this instrument. The following organizations have become Parties: EURATOM. This is not reflected in the Parties' matrix attached.