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International Law
04-04-2016

Poland ratified a number of international agreements relating to nuclear safety and radiological protection which, under the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, are the source of binding provisions of law in Poland. They cover the areas of international cooperation and exchange of information in case of nuclear accident or radiological emergency, nuclear safety of nuclear facilities, safety of spent nuclear fuel management and radioactive waste management, physical protection of nuclear materials.

The objective of agreements and conventions is to commit particular states – contracting parties to maintain a high level of nuclear safety and radiological protection. This objective is fulfilled by imposing international safety requirements on governments, nuclear regulatory bodies and other authorities whose activities can affect safety.

Convention on Nuclear Safety

The Convention on Nuclear Safety was adopted in Vienna on 17 June 1994. The Convention was drawn up during a series of expert level meetings from 1992 to 1994. Its aim is to legally commit participating States to maintain a high level of safety of nuclear facilities.

The obligations of the Parties are based to a large extent on the principles contained in the IAEA Safety Fundamentals document "Fundamental Safety Principles (SF-1)". These obligations cover for instance, siting, design, construction, operation, the availability of adequate financial and human resources, the assessment and verification of safety, quality assurance and emergency preparedness.

The Convention is an incentive instrument. It is not designed to ensure fulfilment of obligations by Parties through control and sanction but is based on their common interest to achieve higher levels of safety which will be developed and promoted through regular meetings of the Parties. The Convention obliges Parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for "peer review" at meetings of the Parties to be held at the IAEA in Vienna once in every three years.

See also:

Joint Convention

The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management entered into force on 18 June 2001. Its aim is to legally commit the Parties to maintain a high level of safety of spent fuel management and radioactive waste management.

The Convention is an incentive instrument. It is not designed to ensure fulfilment of obligations by Parties through control and sanction for any non-compliance. The Convention obliges Contracting Parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for peer review meetings of the Parties to be organized at the IAEA in Vienna once in every three years.

See also:

List of Treaties

The PAA bears responsibility for the performance by Poland as the contracting party of below treaties, conventions and international agreements:

Title 
(date of entry into force in relation to Poland)
Date of signing Date of ratification by Poland
Protocol to Amend the 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage done at Vienna on 12 September 1997 (21.12.2010)  - 14.5.2010
Amendment to Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material done at Vienna on 8 July 2005 (not enforceable) 8.7.2005 20.4.2007
Agreement between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of Netherlands, the European Atomic Energy Community and the International Atomic Energy Agency, in implementation of Article III, (1) and (4) of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed in Brussels on 5 April 1973 (1.3.2007) 
Journal of Laws of 2007, No. 218,Item 1617
- 2.8.2006
Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community done at Brussels on 17 April 1957 (1.5.2004) - 2.8.2006
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, done at Vienna on 5 September 1997 (18.6.2001) 3.10.1997 9.3.2000
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 September 1996 (not enforceable)  24.9.1996 25.5.1999
Convention on Nuclear Safety, done at Vienna on 20 September 1994 (24.10.1996) 20.9.1994 14.6.1995
Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention (on liability for nuclear damage), done at Vienna on 21 September 1988 (27.04.1992)  21.9.1988 27.4.1992
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, done at Vienna on 21 May 1963 (23.4.1990) - 8.12.1989
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, done at Vienna on 26 September 1986 (24.2.1988) 26.9.1986 24.4.1988
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, done at Vienna on 26 September 1986 (24.4.1988) 26.9.1986 24.4.1988
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, including annexes I and II, open for singing in Vienna and New York on 3 March 1980 (8.2.1987) 3.3.1980 8.9.1983
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons done at Moscow, Washington and London on 1 July 1968 (5.3.1970)    

Billateral Agreements

To ensure nuclear and radiological safety, the Republic of Poland signed a number of international bilateral agreements whose performance was entrusted to the PAA President. 

In order to ensure the exchange of experience with regard to regulation of nuclear power, the PAA signed agreements on cooperation between nuclear regulators from U.S. and France.  

Agreements on the basis of Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident

The agreements concerning early notification of nuclear accident and exchange of information and experience were concluded with the neighbouring countries in accordance with the international Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident (text of the Convention available on the IAEA site ).

Poland has not got a nuclear power plant yet but in a distance of approximately 300 km from its borders there are 9 operating nuclear power plants (23 power reactor units) with the total gross installed power of around 15 GWe.

Due to the fact that these nuclear power plants operate in a close vicinity of the territory of Poland, the cooperation with nuclear regulators of the neighbouring countries, conducted in accordance with the aforementioned intergovernmental agreements, is an essential element of our radiation safety.

Poland concluded the below agreements with the following countries:

 

Austria

Agreement between the Government of the People’s Polish Republic and the Government of the Republic of Austria on Exchange of Information and Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Protection Against Radiation. Done at Vienna on 15 December 1989.

Belarus

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident and on Cooperation in Radiation Safety. Done at Minsk on 26 October 1994.

Czech Republic

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Czech Republic on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident and on Exchange of Information About Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection. Done at Vienna on 27 September 2005.

Denmark

Agreement between the Government of the People’s Polish Republic and the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark on Exchange of Information and Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Protection Against Radiation. Done at Warsaw on 22 December 1987. 

Lithuania

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident and on Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection. Done at Warsaw on 2 June 1995. 

Germany

 Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident, Exchange of Information and Experience and Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection. Done at Warsaw on 30 July 2009. 

Norway

Agreement between the Government of the People’s Polish Republic and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident and on Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Protection Against Radiation. Done at Oslo on 15 November 1989.

Russian Federation

Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Russian Federation on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident, on Exchange of Information About Nuclear Installations and on Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection. Done at Warsaw on 18 February 1995.

Slovakia

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the Republic of Slovakia on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident, on Exchange of Information and on Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection. Done at Bratislava on 17 September 1996. 

Ukraine

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of Ukraine on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident, on Exchange of Information and on Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection. Done at Kiev on 24 May 1993.

To assess possible radiation emergencies, the contracting parties to the above agreements apply consolidated criteria, provided for by the so called International Nuclear Event Scale – INES, which was developed by the IAEA.

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