International reference texts

The international reference texts are the international conventions and treaties to which France is a contracting party and those reference texts and recommendations concerning nuclear safety and radiation protection that are not formally binding.

Convention on Assistance in the Event of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency

The IAEA Convention on Assistance in the Event of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency came into effect on February 26, 1987. The aim of this Convention is to facilitate cooperation between countries should one of them be affected by an emergency situation that has radiological consequences. It has been ratified by 111 Contracting Parties on December 31, 2013.

The Interministerial Directive of November 30, 2005 mandates ASN as the competent national authority and details the conditions of application of this Convention if France has to either request assistance or respond to a request for assistance in the event of a radiological emergency.

The terms of this directive oblige each French ministry to keep an up-to-date inventory of its intervention capabilities in terms of experts, equipment, materials and medical resources, and to communicate it to ASN.

As coordinator of France's national means of assistance, ASN participates in the IAEA's work devoted to the operational implementation of international assistance, and more particularly in the development of the RANET (Response Assistance NETwork) database for radiological emergencies.

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France has been called upon on several occasions under this Convention to assist a foreign country in the context of a radiological emergency. To give an example, in 2011 and 2012 respectively, Bulgarian and Peruvian workers were treated at Percy Hospital in Clamart, France, following accidental exposure to radioactive sources contained in gamma radiography equipment. Under this Convention, France is also likely to be requested for research and / or recovery of radioactive sources or to treat overirradiated people during interventional radiology procedures..

The international assistance procedures are currently being revised in the light of experience feedback from the Fukushima accident.

Date of last update : 25/09/2017