Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$32.50



View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 29


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 28
5 Overview of National Laws in Relation to a Regional Repository: Legal and Other Nontechnical Aspects of Multinational Repositories* Christina Boutellier Arius INTRODUCTION Numerous nontechnical considerations, such as politics, economics, ethics, and environmental concerns, influence the legal framework for implementing disposal of radioactive wastes. Such considerations are the basis of any legisla- tion and are reflected in national laws and international legislation. Some of these aspects are of special significance in relation to legislation on multinational re- positories and therefore also have to be taken into consideration when discussing the legal framework. For this reason the subtitle “Legal and Other Nontechnical Aspects of Multinational Repositories” is added to the title of this presentation, and the second part is devoted to those issues. The third part describes some issues of national legislation concerning mul- tinational repositories but also touches on international legal instruments. These have a strong impact on or are even part of many national laws. In addition, some current initiatives for multinational repositories are briefly mentioned. These also influence national legislation on multinational repositories. First, some notes on terminology. The title uses the term “regional” reposito- ries. In a strict sense, regional repositories are repositories for radioactive waste (RAW) used by several countries situated in the same region of the world. The similar term “multinational” repository would be used simply for repositories * The information in this paper is current as of 2005, although there may have been changes since that time. For an update, see Arius, 2007, Newsletter 14, Baden Dättwil, Switzerland: Arius, available online at http://www.arius-world.org/pages/pdf_006/AriusNewsletter.pdf. 8

OCR for page 28
9 NATIONAL LAWS—REGIONAL REPOSITORY used by several countries without reference to the location of the user countries. “International” or also “supranational” repositories are terms often used for mul- tinational or regional repositories that are supervised by a supranational organiza- tion. For legal issues, however, these differentiations are irrelevant. Therefore, the term “multinational” repository is used here. RAW as used here comprises in general all civilian radioactive material for which no further use is foreseen, including spent nuclear fuel (SNF), if there is no intention to reprocess it. NONTECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS ON REPOSITORIES FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE: KEY CHALLENGES Requirements on both National and Multinational Repositories As we all know, nuclear energy is a controversial political issue in many countries, much more so than any other source of energy. Maybe because of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or nuclear weapons in general or the deliberate policymaking of certain pressure groups, there is widespread irrational fear of nuclear energy and the technology and infrastructure that surround it. Even though it is broadly accepted that, from a technical viewpoint, nuclear energy can be managed safely and there is no adequate replacement for nuclear energy in many countries, many people are still unwilling either to trust the nuclear industry or to conserve energy; but they still want to have a say in many fields concerning nuclear energy. This often comes to the fore when proposals are made for the disposal of RAW. Therefore, the societal and political processes leading to legislation and even to authorizations are a very important factor in all fields regarding nuclear energy. As one of the consequences, various principles and standards governing RAW disposal have been developed in different countries and internationally. Some are obvious and universally agreed to; others are more debatable. Thus, it is commonly agreed to and regarded as a minimum standard that repositories for RAW must be ethical, environmentally sound, safe, secure, and economical. These agreed-upon standards are fundamental to legislation on multinational repositories. For these characteristics to be achieved, some specific conditions must be fulfilled:1 Ethical: There is no question that a repository for RAW must be sited and operated on the basis of ethical principles. However, the term “ethical” is prob- ably the one that is the most controversial and the one that is interpreted most 1 Boutellier, C., and C. McCombie, 2004, Problems of an International Repository for Radioactive Waste: Political and Legal Aspects of International Repositories, 10. AIDN/INLA—Regionaltagung der Deutschen Landesgruppe, 2-3 September 2004, Celle, Germany.

OCR for page 28
0 SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES diversely by different individuals, organizations, and countries. Several factors are involved: •  There is the common belief that disposal of RAW should be dealt with now rather than left for future generations. •  It is widely agreed that each country has the responsibility to ensure that its wastes are managed in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Taking responsibility for the correct disposal of one’s RAW means adopting a clearly safe solution for both humankind and the environment. Meeting this responsibility does not necessarily mean disposing of RAW within one’s own territory. In many cases, however, there is a tendency to aim for this in order to ensure that the required standards are met. This tendency may result from fear that earlier bad examples of dumping hazardous wastes abroad in unsuitable places might be repeated. For RAW, however, ensuring proper standards for transboundary shipments is not a problem, since there exist legal bases that prescribe exact conditions and requirements to be met. For example, Article 27 of the Joint Convention and Euratom Council Directive 92/3 on transfers prescribe the conditions under which RAW may be exported to or imported from another country. As there is no ethical—and as a consequence no (international) legal—ob- ligation to dispose of RAW only in the state of its origin, properly implemented multinational repositories are certainly “ethically responsible.” 2 •  Another principle of ethics is that no region should be forced against its will to host a repository for RAW. Even in purely national repository programs, this goal is very hard to fulfill, given the strong local political opposition gener- ally encountered in repository siting projects. In some countries, therefore, the national government may formally impose a solution. For multinational concepts, however, national and local acceptance is an absolute prerequisite. •  As the last item of ethics it should be mentioned that no advantage may be taken of politically weak and/or less developed and/or poor areas. It is not ethi- cal to offer large sums of money as compensation to a poor and/or less developed area that is not technically suitable for hosting a safe repository. Nevertheless, fair compensation for accepting the responsibility should be offered to any hosting area and community. •  Finally, it is worth recognizing, that some countries apply policies (as opposed to laws) against multinational disposal concepts and justify these by ar- guments of ethical responsibility. But in practice the policies often reflect instead a pragmatic reaction to the concern that multinational initiatives might disrupt 2 Seealso Dietze, W. 2004. Legal Issues Involved in the International Disposal of High-Level Radio- active Waste, Waste Management 2004 Conference, February 29-March 4, 2004, Tucson, AZ.

OCR for page 28
 NATIONAL LAWS—REGIONAL REPOSITORY national repository planning. Examples are Sweden, France, and the United Kingdom. Environmentally sound: The net environmental impact should be positive, with global, national, or local benefits being sufficient to outweigh any localized potentially negative effects. Safe: The public and the environment must be protected from the harmful effects of radiation. Secure: The term “security” is used in connection with potential misuse of the radioactive materials for illegal actions (by terrorists, rogue states), which clearly must be avoided. Economical: While meeting all the above-mentioned conditions, a reposi- tory for radioactive waste should be as economical as possible. If it costs too much, it is simply not realizable. Multinational repositories can ease the burden of costs as these may be shared and there are clear economies of scale. Additional Legal Requirements on Multinational Repositories All the standards to be met and the above-mentioned problems to be solved apply while implementing any repository for radioactive waste. A multinational repository for radioactive waste, however, may encounter several problems and challenges in addition to those experienced in purely national repository projects. Some of these additional challenges in the field of legislation are listed here: •  The applicable laws in connection with multinational repositories in the host country and in the potential user countries must be made compatible. •  The legal form of a company or joint venture in charge of a repository must be defined. •  The shared liabilities (e.g., potential remediation costs) and benefits (e.g., the potential value of spent fuel as an energy source) must be regulated. •  Another important challenge is enforcement of internationally agreed upon laws (which in general is based on voluntary participation and application). THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR MULTINATIONAL REPOSITORIES Legal Instruments and Laws in General The nuclear power community agrees that repositories for radioactive waste, whether national or multinational, are technically feasible with today’s tech- nology and can fulfill the commonly agreed upon safety and other technical requirements. Experience, however, has shown that political and sociological opposition presents large obstacles on the way to implementing repositories for RAW—national and international. These political and sociological opinions have an enormous impact on laws governing the disposal of RAW and on their

OCR for page 28
 SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES application in practice. Laws are, in a way, a mirror of public attitudes toward a certain issue, although due to the usually long duration of the law-making process they often lag behind the current situation. Yet laws are not made forever, and as public opinions or needs change, they may be amended and adapted. This gives hope that amendments may eventually make multinational repositories possible, even in countries that currently have different laws. National Laws In practice, every country using radioactivity for civil purposes has estab- lished laws and a legal system covering the disposal of RAW. Many of them prescribe that disposal of their RAW must take place in their own country. Some laws also contain specific articles that deal with aspects of multinational shared repositories and the country’s approach to participation therein. Other countries do not explicitly treat the issue of multinational repositories in their legislation. However, from the fact that they permit in their laws export of their own RAW, it may be concluded that they leave the international option open (i.e., they could indirectly allow participation in a multinational repository). I restrict myself here to the question of whether a particular country allows export and/or import of RAW. This is crucial and decisive for the country’s posi- tion toward multinational repositories. If export of RAW is prohibited, participa- tion in a multinational repository is out of the question. If import of RAW is not allowed, this country cannot be a host country of a multinational repository, at least not under its present legal situation. Table 1 summarizes some countries’ answers to these questions and, where available, their attitudes and/or policies regarding multinational disposal of RAW.3 Before looking closer into legislation, I would like to mention the fact that looking at an isolated article or law can give an incomplete or wrong picture. Articles and sections of laws and laws themselves are always part of a whole sys- tem, and this system or framework must be considered too. For example, the term “RAW” is used in many laws. What does it mean? Is SNF included in RAW? This question may not be fully answered with a simple yes or no. It has to be given the typical answer of lawyers: it depends. It depends on the fuel-cycle policy of a country and on the waste disposal system it has chosen as a consequence. Some countries, after having removed the fuel elements from their reactors, will not use these further. The fuel is considered RAW and must be disposed of accordingly. In these countries RAW includes SNF. Other countries consider spent fuel a valu- able resource that may be reprocessed. Therefore, SNF is considered a usable raw 3 See also Table 4, pp. 90-91, in Boutellier, C., and C. McCombie, 2004, Technical Report on Legal Aspects, SAPIERR, Support Action: Pilot Initiative for European Regional Repositories, Work Pack- age 1, Deliverable 2, available online at http://www.sapierr.net.

OCR for page 28
 NATIONAL LAWS—REGIONAL REPOSITORY TAbLE 1 Export, Import, and Transfer of RAW: Attitudes Toward Multinational Repository Disposal Policy Import of Foreign for RAW, Attitudes RAW for Disposal Export of RAW Toward Multinational Country Permitted? Permitted? Repository Austria No Yes (conditions) Return to USA (research reactor only) Belgium Yes (conditions) Yes (conditions) Dual track First priority national Bulgaria No Yes Return to Russia Croatia No Open No official policy Czech Republic No Yes (conditions) Dual track First priority national Finland No No National only France No Yes (conditions) National only Germany Yes (conditions) Yes (conditions) National only Hungary No Yes Dual track Italy No Yes (for treatment) No official policy Latvia No Yes (conditions) Dual track Lithuania No Yes (conditions) Dual track Netherlands Yes (conditions) Yes (conditions) Dual track Romania No Yes (conditions) No official policy Slovakia Yes (conditions) for Yes (conditions) Dual track treatment, no for First priority national disposal Slovenia Yes (conditions) Yes (conditions) Dual track Spain Yes (conditions) Yes (conditions) No official policy Sweden Yes (small quantities, Yes (conditions) National only conditions) Switzerland Yes (conditions) Yes (conditions) Dual track First priority national United Kingdom Left open Left open Geological disposal strategy being developed material, not waste. Their RAW will not include SNF, but rather substances, such as vitrified high-level radioactive wastes (HLW) and technological wastes from reprocessing. This example demonstrates that when comparing laws of different countries care must be applied and the overall framework of the particular laws must be considered too. Countries that treat the issue of multinational repositories in their legislation do so in a variety of ways. The range extends from prohibiting multinational solutions completely to prescribing them as a goal. Many nations prescribe in their laws that a national solution must be found for their own RAW (i.e., a repository within their own country). Some states

OCR for page 28
 SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES strictly demand an internal solution only and prohibit consideration of multina- tional options. Others take a broader approach in that they follow a “dual-track policy” in the sense that they look for a national solution but also consider multi- national options. Other countries even prescribe explicitly in their legislation that multinational solutions may or even must be considered. An example of a country with strict laws against multinational solutions is Finland. Finland clearly prohibits any import and export of its RAW. Examples of different approaches are Switzerland and Austria. Switzerland lays out fair, symmetrical conditions for import and export of RAW.4 Austria explicitly obliges its authorities to consider cooperation with other member states of the European Union and other countries that have ratified the Joint Convention.5 The Austrian law also explicitly states the reasons for cooperation: balance of risks, optimiza- tion of radiation protection, and minimization of costs. Austria may be cited as a typical example of a country with little RAW, so little that the costs of a national repository would bear no sensible relationship to the amount of RAW to be dis- posed of. Examples of countries with legislation or official documentation indi- cating that they are following a dual-track policy are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Other countries have not yet decided which path to follow or have a national repository R&D program but have not yet made a clear decision for or against participation in a multinational repository. Examples are Croatia and Spain. Given the fact that a great number of countries recognize the advantages of multinational repositories, it is interesting—but disappointing—to see that im- porting RAW for disposal is currently prohibited in most countries. In general, export of RAW needs an authorization that may be granted only with restrictive conditions being applied. Quite often these restrictions refer to international legislation such as the Joint Convention and Council Directive 92/3 (both discussed in detail below). This is one point where international legislation comes into play. As mentioned above, in the field of RAW disposal, politics and policies play an extremely important role. For example, a decision on fulfillment of the condi- tions on import and export of RAW is in reality a question of policy rather than law. Therefore, an overview of the legal situation could not be complete without a glance at some policy or political statements. Here are some examples: •  The United Kingdom has left open the question of whether its RAW may be exported and has agreed to accept foreign waste for disposal under an equivalence principle, but the former implementing organization in the United 4§ 34 Kernenergiegesetz, March 21, 2003, entered into force February 1, 2005. 5§ 36b section 2 Strahlenschutzgesetz, amendment entered into force December 2004.

OCR for page 28
5 NATIONAL LAWS—REGIONAL REPOSITORY Kingdom, Nirex6 (not the government however), has expressed strong views against multinational repositories. •  Sweden and France, whose laws allow export (and for Sweden also im- port under certain conditions), apply policies (but not laws) against multinational disposal concepts. •  In Australia one state (Western Australia) has passed a law against importing foreign waste, but the national government—despite having a strong policy against import—did not consider that a specific federal law was required to block this. •  Some countries (e.g., Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia) have official governmental policy documents that encourage the waste agency to study the possibility of multinational disposal. •  The United States is not considering import or export of commercial spent fuel, but it has repatriated research reactor fuels.7 Also, government officials are on record as supporting the concept of small countries collaborating to imple- ment multinational repositories. •  Russia took back fuel from other states of the former Soviet Union, is taking back research reactor fuels, and is the only country today that is officially interested in the possibility of hosting a multinational storage (and perhaps dis- posal) facility. Legal Instruments at the International Level International legislation plays an important role in promoting international collaboration, including initiatives in the field of RAW management. Such in- ternational legal instruments directly affect national laws as well as concepts for multinational repositories. Therefore, a selection of the most relevant con- ventions, treaties, and laws in this field is mentioned below. The description is restricted to those aspects most relevant to multinational repositories for RAW. •  Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (in short the Joint Convention):8 The core provisions of the Joint Convention oblige the parties to observe the general safety requirements. 6 Nirex was merged into the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in April 2007. 7 Since the presentation of this paper at the workshop, this policy is changing as the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership program develops. 8Adopted September 5, 1997, entered into force June 18, 2001, 42 signatories, 34 parties (as of March 29, 2004). See Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, reproduced in IAEA Information Circular INFCIRC/546, avail- able online at http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Conentions/jointcon.html. For more information, see http://www-ns.iaea.org/conentions/waste-jointconention.htm.

OCR for page 28
6 SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES The Joint Convention further imposes obligations on the contracting par- ties in relation to the transboundary movement of spent fuel and radioactive waste. These are contained in its Article 27. They require an authorization by the country of origin of the RAW to be transported and the approval of the state of destination. Further, shipments of RAW may not be authorized to a destination south of latitude 60° south (Antarctica)9 nor to a country that does not have the technical, legal, or administrative resources to manage the RAW safely. In addi- tion, it obliges the countries of dispatch, in case a shipment of RAW cannot be completed, to take the RAW back. The legally binding part of the Joint Convention does not contain any pro- visions on multinational repositories. However, its preamble states that RAW should, as far as it is compatible with the safety of the management of such material, be disposed of in the state in which it was generated. At the same time it recognizes that in certain circumstances safe and efficient management of SNF and RAW might be fostered through agreements among contracting parties to use facilities in one of them for the benefit of the other parties. As the Joint Convention imposes the enactment of legislation regarding management of RAW/SNF as well as prescribing its content, it directly influences national laws on the disposal of RAW and therefore multinational repositories. If only one of the partners of a multinational repository is party to the Joint Convention, the latter will directly influence and determine the legal rules of that repository. •  Code of Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Ra- dioactive Waste (Code of Practice):10 The main parts of the Code of Practice have been taken over by Article 27 of the Joint Convention. In other points it goes beyond the prescriptions of the Joint Convention. These points remain in force as recommendations and serve as assistance in interpreting the Joint Convention. •  Council Directive 92/3 Euratom on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste between Member States and into and out of the Community (Council Directive on transfers):11 The Council Directive on transfers applies to shipments of RAW between member states of the Euro- pean Union (EU) as well as into and out of the EU. Its prescriptions regarding 9This ban is based on Article V, Section 1, of the Antarctic Treaty of December 1, 1959 (“Any nuclear explosions in Antarctica and the disposal there of radioactive waste material shall be prohib- ited.”). Available online at http://www.state.go/t/ac/trt/700.htm. 10Adopted by the IAEA General Conference September 21, 1990. See Code of Practice on the Inter- national Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste, IAEA Information Circular INFCIRC/386, available online at http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/inf86.shtml. 11 Directive dated February 3, 1992, in force since January 1, 1994. Available online at http://eur- lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&numdoc=99L00 0&lg=en.

OCR for page 28
7 NATIONAL LAWS—REGIONAL REPOSITORY transport are basically identical to those of Article 27 of the Joint Convention. The Council Directive on transfers is applicable to all EU member states. •  Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo/EIA Convention):12 The Espoo/EIA Convention stipulates the obligation of the parties to assess environmental impact of certain activities at an early stage of planning and to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries. It also prescribes the procedural steps to follow when realizing a project subject to the convention. Installations for storage or disposal of RAW are subject to this convention. •  Euratom Proposal for a council directive (Euratom) on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste (Euratom Proposal or Nuclear Package):13 In late 2002 the European Community (EC) developed a draft waste directive aimed at bringing about progress toward safe long-term management of SNF and RAW. Some of the most important general points contained in the original proposal were as follows: 1. Each member state was required to establish a clearly defined program on long-term management and disposal of RAW with a definite timetable for each step. 2. The program could include shipments of RAW and/or SNF to another member state or third country if such shipments are fully in compliance with existing EU legislation and meet further standards. 3. Disposal in stable geological formations (granite, salt, clay) was ac- knowledged to be considered the safest and most sustainable solution for the management of high-level and long-lived RAW. 4. A very ambitious timescale for development of appropriate disposal site(s) was foreseen. Objections against the Euratom Proposal were raised by many stakeholders. They objected to the overly ambitious timescales, some to the encouragement given for regional solutions and a few—primarily the United Kingdom—objected to the identification of geological disposal as the preferred long-term solution. As a result, the text was amended and demoted to a nonbinding resolution. How- ever, efforts are still under way by the European Commission to develop a waste 12Adopted in Espoo, Finland, in spring 1991, entered into force September 10, 1997, 30 signato- ries, 40 parties. Initiated at a seminar on environmental impact assessment in Warsaw, Poland, 1987, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Available online at http://www. unece.org/en/eia/eia.htm#Text. 13 First published by the European Commission on November 6, 2002, final proposal of January 30, 2003, available online at http://www.euronuclear.org/info/nuclearpackage.htm. See also Arius Newsletter No. 8, August 2004, The EC Waste Directive: A Complex Evolution, available online at http://www.arius-world.org.

OCR for page 28
8 SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES directive, and the latest drafts continue to acknowledge the potential benefits of regional repositories. Table 2 gives an overview of some countries and their status of ratification of the international legislation mentioned above.14 Current Initiatives for Multinational Disposal Despite the existing, mainly political, barriers there is increasing support at the international level for multinational repositories. Over the years there have been numerous proposals published for multinational repositories or storage schemes and several initiatives and projects have been launched. Some selected examples are mentioned here: •  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Expert Group on Multi- lateral Nuclear Approaches (MNA): This expert group was established by the IAEA as part of efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. It focuses on security issues of proliferation-sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. Among other approaches it is considering for the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle are multilateral approaches to the management and disposal of SNF and RAW. 15 For further information see the dedicated IAEA web site at http://www.iaea. org/NewsCenter/Focus/FuelCycle/index.shtml. •  Arius, the Association for Regional and International Underground Stor- age: Arius was set up in Switzerland by waste management organizations from several countries as a noncommercial body to promote the concept of multina- tional facilities for storage and disposal of all types of long-lived nuclear wastes.16 Further information is provided on its web site, http://www.arius-world.org. •  SAPIERR, Support Action, Pilot Initiative for European Regional Re- positories: SAPPIER is a project within the sixth framework program of the EU, which is designed to explore the feasibility of regional repositories in the EU. 17 14 See also Table 1, p. 86, in Boutellier, C., and C. McCombie. 2004. Technical Report on Legal Aspects, SAPIERR, Support Action: Pilot Initiative for European Regional Repositories, Work Pack- age 1, Deliverable 2, available online at http://www.sapierr.net. 15The group consists of 23 experts drawn from as many countries and is chaired by Bruno Pellaud, former IAEA deputy director general and head of the Department of Safeguards. The group released its findings on February 22, 2005, in its report entitled Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, available online at http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/mna-005_web.pdf. 16The eight organizational members of Arius are (as of June 2005) Kozloduy NPP (Bulgaria), PURAM (Hungary), ENEA (Italy), Obayashi Corp. (Japan), Radiation Safety Centre (Latvia), COVRA (Netherlands), ARAO (Slovenia), and Colenco Power Engineering (Switzerland). 17The following 14 countries are participating in the SAPIERR working group: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. For further information, see Boutellier, C., and C. McCombie. 2004. Technical Report on Legal Aspects, SAPIERR, Support Action: Pilot Initiative for European Regional Repositories, Work Package 1, Deliverable 2, available online at http://www.sapierr.net.

OCR for page 28
9 NATIONAL LAWS—REGIONAL REPOSITORY TAbLE 2 Ratification/Adoption of International Conventions/Treaties Espoo/EIA Council Directive Conventiona Countries Joint Convention 92/3 re. Transfers Argentina Yes No Australia Yes No Austriab Yes Yes Belgiumb Yes Yes Bulgariac Yes Yes Canada Yes Yes Croatiac Yes Yes (accession) Czech Republicb Yes Yes Finlandb Yes Yes (acceptance) Franceb Yes Yes (approval) Germanyb Yes Yes Greeceb Yes Yes Hungaryb Yes Yes Italyb Yes (signed) Yes Kazakhstan Signature only Yes (accession) Latviab Yes Yes (accession) Lithuaniab Yes Yes (accession) Netherlandsb Yes Yes (acceptance) Binding to all EU Member States Norway Yes Yes Polandb Yes Yes Romaniac Yes Yes Slovakiab Yes Yes Sloveniab Yes Yes (accession) Spainb Yes Yes Swedenb Yes Yes Switzerland Yes Yes (accession) Ukraine Yes Yes United Kingdomb Yes Yes USA Yes Signature only aThe EC has also signed and ratified the Espoo convention. bMember state of the EU. cCandidate country to the EU. The SAPIERR project has compiled information on the legal situation with re- spect to a European regional repository. The project is further described on its web site: http://www.sapierr.net/index_0.htm. •  Euratom Proposal for a council directive (Euratom) on the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste: The proposal has launched a broad discus- sion on—among other topics—multinational repositories, but unfortunately has yielded only a nonbinding resolution. Nevertheless, it led to acknowledgment of multinational repositories. •  IAEA—Russia Initiatives: The director general of the IAEA and the responsible Russian minister recently agreed that a special conference on the

OCR for page 28
0 SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL STORAGE FACILITIES possibility of a Russian multinational repository would be held in 2005. This will take place in July of this year. The Russian and American national academies of sciences have also been studying the concept. The present meeting in Vienna is a follow-on to that organized in Moscow in 2003.18 CONCLUSIONS •  In many countries national laws do refer, at least indirectly, to the pos- sibility of multinational repositories for RAW. However, few countries explicitly treat the issue of multinational repositories in their legislation. •  National policies and legislation differ greatly in their treatment of waste import/export, both being basic conditions for multinational repositories. •  National legislation and even more national policies in several countries reject the concept of waste import and sometimes even export. Although ethical arguments are sometimes put forward in justification by such countries, these are never given as such in the legislation. •  There is growing support in international organizations (in particular the IAEA and the European Commission) for multinational repositories. •  International organizations and also most nations recognize the right of individual countries to collaborate in the development of multinational reposito- ries. However, they also recognize their right to prohibit the import and/or export of RAW. •  They also recognize that multinational repositories are ethically justified and can bring global advantages in safety, security, environmental protection, and economics. 18 Further information on other proposals may be found in Developing Multinational Radioactive Waste Repositories: Infrastructural Framework and Scenarios of Cooperation. 2004. Vienna: IAEA. Available online at http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te__web.pdf.