International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL)
ISNL 2016

2024 summer session: 26 August to 6 September

The ISNL 2024 application period is now closed.




The International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL), established in 2001 by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in co-operation with the University of Montpellier, has been designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy. The ISNL benefits from the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

To date, the International School of Nuclear Law has provided a unique educational opportunity to more than 1200 graduate students and young professionals from around the world.

The ISNL programme has evolved over the last 22 years to address developments in nuclear law, thus providing a high quality, intensive overview of a complex body of laws and legal regimes.


The following subjects are covered during the ten-day programme:

  • introduction to nuclear law
  • international institutions and organisations
  • international radiological protection standards
  • nuclear accident notification and assistance
  • nuclear safety
  • nuclear regulatory regimes
  • environmental protection
  • management of spent fuel and radioactive waste
  • transport of nuclear materials and fuel
  • nuclear security: physical protection, illicit trafficking and terrorism
  • non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and international safeguards for nuclear materials
  • liability, compensation and insurance for nuclear damage
  • international trade in nuclear materials and equipment
  • contracting

University Diploma in International Nuclear Law

ISNL participants have the possibility to apply for a University Diploma (Diplôme d'université - D.U.) in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier. There are no additional fees to apply for or receive the diploma.

  • ISNL participants who receive financial assistance from either the IAEA or the NEA must apply for the diploma.
  • For all other participants, applying for the diploma is optional.

Diploma candidates must complete the following requirements to be considered for the University diploma:

  • active class and case study participation during the 10-day ISNL course in Montpellier (10 points);
  • successful completion of a 2.5-hour multiple-choice test (60 points);
  • submission of a written dissertation of publishable quality on a topic relevant to international nuclear law (90 points).

Candidates may complete the multiple-choice test and the dissertation in English or French.

To be considered for the University Diploma in International Nuclear Law, candidates must receive:

  • a minimum of 80 points out of 160 total points; and
  • at least 45 points out of 90 on the dissertation.

Who can apply?

Both professionals and graduate students will be considered for admission. Applicants do not need to come from a NEA members countries. Applicants must have an undergraduate university degree in a relevant discipline. Advanced graduate-level education and/or significant professional work experience are also important factors in the application process. Although course presentations and discussions focus on legal issues, a legal education is not required to participate in the ISNL.


The NEA awards grants to a select number of students from its member countries qualified to participate in this programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) awards financial support to a limited number of professionals from its member states that are eligible to receive financial support under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme. More information is provided on the IAEA website.

Supervisory Board

The ISNL Supervisory Board provides overall direction and strategy to the NEA and the University of Montpellier for the implementation of the ISNL every year. The Supervisory Board is composed of well-respected professionals from around the world.

Alumni Network


You can join the private ISNL alumni and lecturer LinkedIn Group. This is a closed group only for ISNL alumni and lecturers. If you have any issues, please email

Alumni Directory

To help our Alumni and Lecturers maintain the connections they made during the ISNL, as well as build new connections across the years, an ISNL Directory has been created.

Access to the Directory is password restricted and available only to those Alumni and Lecturers who are listed.

If you wish to update your contact information or if you are an Alumnus or Lecturer and wish to be included in the Directory, please email

Pictures and cartoons

A gallery of ISNL photos since the beginning of the programme is available on the Flickr website.

For almost twenty years, Carlton Stoiber, the ISNL "Cartoonist in Chief", sketched away during each session, giving participants a visual (and humorous) representation of everything that was taught during each session. See a small sample of Carlton's cartoons.

Publications and reports

OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
Division of Nuclear Law

46, Quai Alphonse Le Gallo
92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Laurence Weil
Directrice de SFC
Université de Montpellier
Rue Vendémiaire
Bat. E - Espace Richter - CS 29555
34 961 Montpellier Cedex 2, France