International School of Nuclear Law: Hot topics, expert views

International School of Nuclear Law Hot topics, expert views, 1 October 2020

The NEA hosted a roundtable discussion on 1 October 2020 to celebrate what would have been the 20th anniversary of the International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL).

Established by the NEA in 2001 in co-operation with the University of Montpellier, the International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL) is an annual course designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy. The two-week programme takes place every year in Montpellier in the South of France and is hosted by the University of Montpellier. To date, it has provided a special educational opportunity to more than 1000 graduate students and young professionals worldwide.

While the 2020 edition of the ISNL was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NEA hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on 1 October 2020 to celebrate what would have been the 20th anniversary of this unique course. The event brought together ISNL lecturers, representing the NEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), public and private sectors, and academia, who discussed recent developments in international nuclear law.

International School of Nuclear Law Hot topics, expert views, 1 October 2020, Session 2 Licensing and Permitting for Nuclear Activities 

NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV during his opening remarks noted:  “[The ISNL] is more than just a training experience …  it really is passing the knowledge that has been gathered over many decades about nuclear law to new generations and to a broader audience.”

The roundtable addressed some of the hottest topics in international law and nuclear law today, including the current and emerging issues in the fundamental nuclear safety conventions and the standardisation and harmonisation of the licensing and regulation of SMRs and advanced reactors. The nature and role of environmental conventions in the licensing of nuclear energy-related activities – in particular lifetime extensions – were discussed. The speakers exchanged about the challenges of ensuring nuclear security and safeguards compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions also touched on the new developments in the field of civil nuclear liability and insurance, as well as on the role of nuclear law experts in a clean and sustainable energy future.

International School of Nuclear Law Hot topics, expert views, 1 October 2020, Session 4 Liability, Insurance and Trade  

The virtual event concluded with a poll through which participants were able to express their views on the key topics of international nuclear law over the next 5-to-10 years. According to the poll results, most participants anticipate that legal issues related to advanced reactors, decommissioning and deep geological repositories would be popular topics of interest in nuclear law in the coming years.

International School of Nuclear Law: Hot topics, expert views, survey results 2 

The 2021 session of the ISNL will take place from 23 August through 3 September. Applications will be open in January 2021. For more information on the ISNL, its programme and history, consult the ISNL brochure or commemorative booklet.

A video recording of the expert roundtable will be available in the coming days.

 

Full schedule

Introduction

  • William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General, NEA
  • Ximena Vásquez-Maignan, Head, Office of Legal Counsel, NEA
  • Philippe Augé, President, University of Montpellier
  • Peri Lynne Johnson, Legal Adviser and Director, Office of Legal Affairs, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Patrick Reyners, Secretary General, International Nuclear Law Association (INLA)
  • Paul Bowden, ISNL Programme Leader, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus and Deringer LLP, and Honorary Professor of Law, Nottingham Law School

Session 1: Fundamental Nuclear Safety Conventions

  • Lisa Thiele, Senior General Counsel, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)
  • Wolfram Tonhauser, Section Head, Nuclear and Treaty Law Section, Office of Legal Affairs, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Stephen G. Burns, Former Chairman, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

Session 2: Licensing and Permitting for Nuclear Activities

  • William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General, NEA
  • Kimberly S. Nick, Deputy Head, Office of Legal Counsel, NEA
  • Paul Bowden, ISNL Programme Leader, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus and Deringer LLP, and Honorary Professor of Law, Nottingham Law School

Session 3: Security and Safeguards

  • Sonia Drobysz, Programme Director for National Implementation, VERTIC (the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre)
  • Cristian de Francia, Legal Officer, Non-Proliferation and Policy Making Section, Office of Legal Affairs, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Laura Rockwood, Director, Open Nuclear Network

Session 4: Liability, Insurance and Trade

  • Ximena Vásquez-Maignan, Head, Office of Legal Counsel, NEA
  • Mark Tetley, Insurance Consultant and former Managing Director, Power Nuclear & Construction Division, Price Forbes & Partners Ltd.
  • William Fork, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
See also