The Legal Framework of Nuclear Security
Added Date : 22/9/2013

The 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) 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.

Date of adoption: 26 October 1979
Place of adoption: Vienna, Austria
Date of entry into force: 8 February 1987


United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) established the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee, which works to bolster the ability of United Nations Member States to prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions. It was established in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States.


United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) imposes binding obligations on all States to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery, and  establish appropriate domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking. It also encourages enhanced international cooperation on such efforts,


The 2004 IAEA’s Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources describes how States can safely and securely manage high risk radioactive sources.


International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005), imposes an obligation on State parties to establish the offences within the scope of the Convention as criminal offences under their national laws and to make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties, which take into account their grave nature. Further, the Convention imposes the obligation to establish jurisdiction, territorial as well as extra-territorial, as may be necessary, over the offences set forth in the Convention. The Convention on Nuclear Terrorism, following its predecessor sectoral conventions, based itself on the “extradite or prosecute” regime. 

Date of adoption: 14 September 2005
Place of adoption: New York, United States
Date of entry into force: 7 July 2007
Condition: 22 ratification 
Signatories: 115
Parties: 88
Depository: United Nations