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International Conventions and Legal Agreements


Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material


Background

The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material was signed at Vienna and at New York on 3 March 1980. The Convention is the only international legally binding undertaking in the area of physical protection of nuclear material. It establishes measures related to the prevention, detection and punishment of offenses relating to nuclear material.

A Diplomatic Conference in July 2005 was convened to amend the Convention and strengthen its provisions. The amended Convention makes it legally binding for States Parties to protect nuclear facilities and material in peaceful domestic use, storage as well as transport. It also provides for expanded cooperation between and among States regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage, and prevent and combat related offences.

The amendments will take effect once they have been ratified by two-thirds of the States Parties of the Convention.

See Related Resources for additional information and latest status reports.

Membership

Date of adoption: 26 October 1979
Place of adoption: Vienna, Austria
Date of entry into force: 8 February 1987
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
Depositary: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Responsible/Contact: Division of Public Information | Last update: 17 November 2009