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IAEA publishes outcomes of the 7th Review Meeting of the Joint Convention

The President's summary report from the 7th Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management – attended by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) – has now been published.

A two-week meeting in Vienna brought together 76 of the 88 contracting parties to the convention, which includes the UK.

The report highlights the good progress made globally, with 13 areas of ‘good practice’ and 244 areas of ‘good performance’ across contracting parties recognised.

The UK was praised for its ‘good practice’ and progress made in respect of the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste.

The report acknowledges that contracting parties can often face challenges when implementing measures to increase safety.

It recognises the important role the convention plays in helping to create awareness of these challenges and in providing contracting parties with a forum to exchange knowledge and experience to help overcome them.

It also highlights how international peer review missions are being widely implemented and how contacting parties continue to regard them as an effective process to strengthen the national framework and infrastructure for nuclear and radiation safety.

The ONR team which supported the UK delegation included Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector Mark Foy, who delivered the UK report alongside the Environment Agency’s Chief Scientist, Jo Nettleton.

In the UK presentation, Mark highlighted notable areas of progress during the reporting period and updated on work being done to address challenges and overarching issues identified at the previous review meeting.

He also gave an overview of the UK nuclear industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact.

Following the meeting, the UK delegation joined a number of their international counterparts in issuing a joint statement relating to the refusal of the Russian Federation, and certain other contracting parties, to permit a proper record of the discussions regarding the nuclear safety implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The contracting parties agreed to hold the eighth review meeting at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on 17-28 March 2025.

Further information about the joint convention and its role and objectives is available on the ONR website.