23 August 2010 - The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the University of Montpellier 1 in France proudly celebrate the start of the 10th anniversary of the International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL).
The ISNL is a unique academic programme which, each summer, provides intensive teaching of virtually all aspects of international nuclear law. Over the past ten years, the ISNL has trained more than 500 participants who have come from around the world to take advantage of this unrivaled learning experience. In addition to post-graduate level students, ISNL alumni include experts representing both governmental and non-governmental institutions, different nationalities and cultures, and different levels of age, education and work experience.
When the ISNL was established in 2000, there were no courses focused on nuclear law, despite the fact that national and international legal frameworks existed in all developed countries and in many developing nations. Indeed, nuclear energy activities are some of the most highly regulated of any industry both at the national and international levels. As a result, nuclear law practitioners, whether in the private, public or quasi-public sectors, must develop an in-depth knowledge of the broad range of legal instruments that comprise those regulatory frameworks.
Many countries have recognised the need to secure qualified human resources in nuclear disciplines especially given the growing interest in nuclear power; recent international, regional and national initiatives have been aiming at encouraging and facilitating greater numbers of students to enter the nuclear field. The ISNL remains, however, a distinctive educational programme.
On the occasion of the ISNL's anniversary, a special publication has been issued by the NEA: International Nuclear Law: History, Evolution and Outlook. It is dedicated to the ISNL alumni and free copies have been made available to nuclear lawyers, law schools, regional and international organisations and others working in the field of nuclear law. The book is a rich source of information comprising scholarly papers on the various aspects of international nuclear law, submitted by renowned experts in the nuclear field. The 18 papers, based on current lectures, cover a wide variety of subjects, including institutional aspects, radiological protection, nuclear safety, security, safeguards, transport, trade, liability, insurance, environmental protection as well as the history of the school.
The NEA addresses a broad range of nuclear activities and its expertise in nuclear law is widely recognised. It produces on a semi-annual basis the Nuclear Law Bulletin, a periodical designed to provide both its professional and academic subscribers with authoritative and comprehensive information on nuclear law developments the world over.
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NEA membership consists of 33 countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co‑operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low‑carbon economies.