Canada's National Reports to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management

What is the Joint Convention?

The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention) is an international agreement governing all aspects of spent fuel and radioactive waste management.

Canada was one of the first countries (known as Contracting Parties) to ratify the Joint Convention, which came into force on June 18, 2001.

The Joint Convention is the first legally binding international treaty on safety in these areas. It represents the participating countries’ commitment to achieving and maintaining a consistently high level of safety in the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, as part of the global safety regime for ensuring the protection of people and the environment.

The Joint Convention’s objectives are to:

  • achieve and maintain a high level of safety in spent fuel and radioactive waste management
  • protect individuals, society and the environment from ionizing radiation
  • prevent accidents and, if necessary, mitigate their consequences

Joint Convention review meetings

The Joint Convention encourages Contracting Parties to report, and to promote open and transparent discussions, on the safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management. The mechanism for achieving these objectives is a peer review of national programs for spent fuel and radioactive waste management. The Joint Convention calls for a review meeting to be held at least once every three years. The Contracting Parties participating in the Joint Convention are required to submit a national report at each review meeting, demonstrating the measures they have taken to implement their obligations under the agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publishes summary reports (which include the outcomes of review meetings), on their website.

National reports to the Joint Convention

Canada’s national reports are published together with responses to questions received from other Contracting Parties. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the country’s independent nuclear regulator, submits these documents on behalf of Canada.

Fifth report

The Fifth Review Meeting was held on May 11–22, 2015, at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria.


Fourth report

Third report

Second report

First report

Contributors to Canada’s Joint Convention reports

The CNSC regulates the safe management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, and is responsible for coordinating the national reports for the IAEA review meetings.

These reports, however, represent a collective work, and involve the cooperation of various federal departments, as well as input from licensees and industry organizations.

The following organizations contribute to the writing and review of these documents:

Federal departments and agencies

  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Natural Resources Canada

Industry organizations