International Atomic Energy Agency
Information Circular
(Unofficial electronic edition)
14 March 1997

Original: SPANISH

Communication of 28 February 1997 Received from the Resident Representative of Brazil to the International Atomic Energy Agency

  1. On 4 March 1997, the Director General received a letter from the Resident Representative of the Federative Republic of Brazil on behalf of his Government, as well as the Governments of the Republic of Argentina, the Republic of Chile and the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, requesting the circulation to the Member States of the "Joint Declaration on the Transport of Radioactive Waste", issued to the press on 17 January 1997.

  2. The text of the declaration is reproduced in the Attachment hereto.


Joint Declaration on the Transport of Radioactive Waste

The Governments of the Republic of Argentina, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Chile and the Eastern Republic of Uruguay:

Wishing, within the framework of the excellent relations they enjoy with the Governments of Japan, France and the United Kingdom and before another transport of radioactive waste from European ports to Japan takes place, to reiterate their concern about the risks that the transport, by virtue of the intrinsically dangerous nature of the shipment, represents for the health of their inhabitants and for the marine environment of the region through which the transit will take place;

Expressing furthermore their concern at the possibility that future shipments may use the Cape Horn route, which presents risks for navigation owing to its physical and meteorological characteristics and the vulnerability of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic ecosystems, and recalling, in this connection, that the principles of international law and the relevant national legislation give coastal States jurisdiction with respect to the protection and preservation of the marine environment in their respective exclusive economic zones in order to prevent, reduce and control contamination in this environment;

Drawing attention also to the undesirability of such shipments taking place in future with a gradual increase in the quantity and/or hazardousness of the material transported each time;


  1. Their grave concern at the risks associated with the transit through the region of ships transporting radioactive waste;

  2. Their intention to adopt, in waters under their jurisdiction, measures recognized by international law to protect the health of their inhabitants and their marine ecosystems;

  3. The need to strengthen, within the competent international organizations, the regulations governing the transport of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, which, inter alia, should include: guarantees regarding the non-contamination of the marine environment; exchange of information on the routes selected; an obligation to communicate to coastal States the contingency plans that will be applied in the event of an accident; the commitment to recover the radioactive waste in the event of incidents involving ships transporting waste; and payment of compensation in the event of injury and damage;

  4. Their support for the work on the revision and negotiation of the conventions on civil liability for nuclear damage, the safe management of radioactive waste and the safety of spent nuclear fuel that is taking place within the IAEA and the revision of the code on the carriage of irradiated nuclear fuel (INF Code), which should be made mandatory.