The Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) was developed at Germany’s initiative in the 1990s after the Chernobyl nuclear accident and entered into force on 24 October 1996. Germany became a Contracting Party on 20 April 1997; the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) joined as a supranational organisation on 30 April 2000. To date, 78 countries have acceded to the Convention.


The Convention’s objectives are defined in Article 1:

  • to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety worldwide through the enhancement of national measures and international cooperation including, where appropriate, safety-related technical cooperation;
  • to establish and maintain effective defences in nuclear installations against potential radiological hazards in order to protect individuals, society and the environment from harmful effects of ionising radiation from such installations;
  • to prevent accidents with radiological consequences and to mitigate such consequences should they occur.