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Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) was adopted in 1979 with the specific objective of protecting nuclear material, used for peaceful purposes, during international transport. The Convention entered into force for Germany, the other EU countries and Euratom on 6 October 1991.


In the Convention, States have committed to ensuring 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 (e.g. against theft of nuclear material).

Scope of application

On 8 July 2005, the Convention was amended by a conference convened for this purpose, and its scope was extended significantly. Amendments included

  • extending the scope of application to any peaceful use of nuclear material (particularly 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 Amendment entered into force on 8 May 2016.