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The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (Emergency Conventions) are the prime legal instruments that establish an international framework to facilitate the exchange of information and the prompt provision of assistance in the event of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency. They place specific obligations on the Parties and the IAEA, with the aim of minimizing consequences for health, property and the environment.

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The Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), is a legally binding instrument that entered into force in 1996. The objectives of the CNS are to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety worldwide, to establish and maintain effective defences in nuclear installations against potential radiological hazards and to prevent accidents with radiological consequences. The CNS is an incentive instrument that commits contracting parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for peer review at periodic meetings during country group sessions. The delegations of the contracting parties in country group sessions should be led by their Regulatory Body, with participation of utility representatives as appropriate.

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The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material obliges Contracting States to ensure during international nuclear transport the protection of nuclear material within their territory or on board their ships or aircraft.

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The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management - is the first legally binding international treaty on safety in these areas. It represents a commitment by participating States to achieve and maintain a consistently high level of safety in the management of spent fuel and of radioactive waste as part of the global safety regime for ensuring the proper protection of people and the environment.

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