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Nuclear and Treaty Law

Nuclear and Treaty Law

The Nuclear and Treaty Law Section (Section C) is primarily responsible for:

Nuclear Safety

Section C promotes adherence to and implementation of the nuclear safety instruments adopted under the Agency’s auspices including providing substantive legal advice to the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security. In this connection, Section C, together with the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, also provides the scientific secretariat for the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Joint Convention on Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors, Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, as well as Supplementary Guidance to the Code.

Nuclear Security

Section C also promotes adherence to and implementation of the nuclear security instruments adopted under the Agency’s auspices, primarily the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the 2005 Amendment thereto and the Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its Supplementary Guidance, as well as other relevant international instruments and Security Council resolutions.  Within Section C, OLA provides legal support to the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security in the areas of physical protection and counter-terrorism.  In the area of emergency assistance and response, Section C provides legal support to the Incident and Emergency Centre and under the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

Nuclear Liability

In connection with the nuclear liability instruments adopted under the Agency’s auspices, Section C is responsible for the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, the Joint Protocol relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention, the Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.

In this context, Section C provides the Secretariat to meetings of the International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX), which the Director General established in September 2003.

Nuclear Energy

Section C provides legal advice to the Department of Nuclear Energy in support of their efforts to assist States in launching new nuclear power programmes including developing relevant documentation and publications such as Considerations to Launch a Nuclear Power Programme and Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power.

Technical Cooperation

Section C also provides legal advice and support to the Department of Technical Co-operation, including issues related to the Revised Guiding Principles and General Operating Rules to Govern the Provision of Technical Assistance by the Agency and the Revised Supplementary Agreement for the Provision of Technical Assistance (RSA), the Country Programme Frameworks and issues relevant to the Agency’s role and functions in connection with RCA, AFRA, ARCAL and ARASIA.

Legislative Assistance

Section C coordinates the legislative assistance programme to assist IAEA Member States in the development of their national nuclear legislation. A useful resource for IAEA Member States in assessing the adequacy of their national legal frameworks governing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is the Handbook on Nuclear Law, developed by the Office of Legal Affairs.

Depositary Functions

Section C also performs the depositary functions for the multilateral treaties that have been adopted under the auspices of the IAEA and/or in respect of which the Director General serves as depositary, including the agreements relating to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project.

Knowledge Management

Section C is also responsible for legal issues associated with preserving, enhancing and strengthening knowledge management. Included in this area are OLA’s outreach activities, in the form of presentations to Member States and participation in courses on nuclear law, as well as the maintenance of OLA’s website.