Third Review Meeting of the IAEA Joint Convention

May 27, 2009

The Third Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management took place in Vienna from 11th to 20th May 2009. RPII staff participated in this meeting and one staff member acted as scientific secretary to one of the Working Groups.

Every three years Contracting Parties (CPs) to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management [JC], participate in a review meeting. This includes submitting a national report that describes how their obligations under the Joint Convention are being implemented. Each CP presents its national report and answers questions on it from other CPs as part of a peer review process. The national report explains how the country is complying with, or planning to comply with, the Convention’s 25 technical articles. This meeting was the third review meeting of the Convention.

There are currently 48 Contracting Parties to the JC. For the purposes of an effective review, the 48 countries are divided into 6 country groups that include both nuclear and non-nuclear countries. Ireland’s country group included 4 nuclear countries (Russian Federation, Finland, Canada, Hungary) and 4 non-nuclear countries (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, and Ireland). The RPII presented Ireland’s national report.

The following were identified as 'good practices' in Ireland: (i) Independence and competence of the Regulatory Body (RPII), (ii) Good national emergency preparedness arrangements and (iii) Efforts to reduce the number of sealed sources (thereby minimising radioactive waste) by discouraging licensees from holding onto redundant sources.  The meeting noted that Ireland has not yet developed a long-term national waste management policy. This was also identified as an issue at the first and second review meetings.

The review meeting concluded that many CPs had initiated new actions or were enhancing existing actions to improve the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. However, each CP has challenges requiring further action or continuing implementation of recently initiated activities.


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