Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material was adopted in 1979 especially with a view to protecting nuclear material, used for peaceful purposes, during transport. The convention entered into force in Germany and the other EU countries on 6 October 1991. 

In the convention, the parties have committed to ensure the necessary protection during international transport against interference by third parties by

  • authorising such transports only when compliance with adequate security measures is assured,
  • cooperating to recover missing nuclear material,
  • establishing international exchange of information through contact points, and
  • adopting provisions under criminal law (for example against theft of nuclear material).

On 8 July 2005, the convention was amended by a conference called together for this purpose, and the scope of the convention was extended significantly. Amendments included

  • extending the scope to any peaceful use of nuclear material (especially national transport, storage, use of nuclear facilities),
  • introducing the protection goal of preventing sabotage,
  • extending the catalogue of punishable premeditated acts regarding nuclear material or facilities and
  • more comprehensive requirements on international cooperation to prevent or prosecute such offences.

The law on the decision of 8 July 2005 amending the convention of 26 October 1979 on the physical protection of nuclear material (Gesetz zu der Entschließung vom 8. Juli 2005 zur Änderung des Übereinkommens vom 26. Oktober 1979 über den physischen Schutz von Kernmaterial) established the legal national requirements for ratification by the Federal President.

The amendment to the Convention entered into force on 8 May 2016. To date it has been ratified by more than 100 member states of the IAEA.

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