International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL)

    2020 summer session: Cancelled

    2021 summer session: 23 August to 3 September

    The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), in co-ordination with the University of Montpellier, has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL). At this point in time, there remains considerable uncertainty surrounding the public health situation worldwide. While restrictions have started to be lifted in France, it is difficult to foresee how the situation will evolve during the summer. Given such ambiguity, and in consideration of the health and safety of our participants and lecturers, there is no other choice but to cancel this year’s programme.

    The 2020 ISNL would have marked the 20th anniversary of our programme, which has been held every year since 2001. Although we will not be able to celebrate this important milestone this summer, we look forward to delivering an exceptional programme next year. Applications for the 2021 ISNL will be open in January.


    The International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL), established in 2001 by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in cooperation with the University of Montpellier, has been designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy. To date, the International School of Nuclear Law has provided a unique educational opportunity to more than 1000 graduate students and young professionals from around the world.

    The ISNL programme has evolved over the last nineteen years to address developments in nuclear law, thus providing a high quality, intensive overview of a complex body of laws and legal regimes.


    The 2020 ISNL programme will be conducted under the leadership of Paul Bowden, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus and Deringer LLP, London, United Kingdom.

    Comprehensive lectures will be delivered by renowned specialists in nuclear law from international organisations, governments, and private industry.

    The following subjects are usually covered during the ten day programme:

    • introduction to nuclear law;
    • international institutions and organisations;
    • international radiological protection standards;
    • nuclear accident notification and assistance;
    • nuclear safety;
    • nuclear regulatory regimes;
    • management of spent fuel and radioactive waste;
    • liability, compensation and insurance for nuclear damage;
    • non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and international safeguards for nuclear materials;
    • nuclear security: physical protection, illicit trafficking and terrorism;
    • international trade in nuclear materials and equipment;
    • transport of nuclear materials and fuel;
    • environmental protection;
    • contracting.

    2019 programme 2019 list of lecturers


    The International School of Nuclear Law was established by the University of Montpellier in co-operation with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency in 2001. The School benefits from the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Supervisory Board

    The International School of Nuclear Law Supervisory Board provides overall direction and strategy to the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the University of Montpellier for the implementation of the ISNL every year. The Supervisory Board is composed of well-respected professionals from around the world.

    University Diploma in International Nuclear Law

    ISNL participants have the possibility to apply for a University Diploma (Diplôme d'université - D.U.) in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier.

    Application and admission process


    Applicants must have an undergraduate university degree in a relevant discipline. Advanced graduate-level education and/or significant professional work experience are also significant factors in the application process. Although course presentations and discussions focus on legal issues, a legal education is not required to participate in the ISNL.

    Participants must hold insurance to cover accidents, hospitalisation or repatriation.


    All course instruction and discussion will take place in English; all course materials will be provided in English. Simultaneous interpretation will not be available during the course.


    The number of ISNL participants is limited to approximately 60.

    The application form for the next session will be available in January 2021.

    Registration fee

    The registration fees for the 2020 session are EUR 2 500 for professionals and EUR 550 for students enrolled in a degree-granting programme at the start of ISNL. To qualify as a student, you must not be engaged in full-time employment.

    The registration fee includes admission solely for the participant to:

    • the educational programme;
    • the welcome reception;
    • the Saturday excursion;
    • other scheduled social events (unless indicated otherwise).

    Print and electronic reference materials will also be provided to ISNL participants.


    The registration fee is not subject to French taxes of any kind.

    Costs associated with travel, accommodation, subsistence expenses (including meals), insurance and any other miscellaneous items are not covered by the registration fee and shall be borne exclusively by the participant.

    The registration fee must be paid by bank transfer only and in full at least four weeks prior to the start of the course. Course participation is confirmed only upon receipt by the NEA of a proof of payment in full of the registration fee.

    Grant and financial support opportunities

    The NEA awards grants to students from its member countries qualified to participate in this programme.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) awards financial support to a limited number of professionals from its member states that are eligible to receive financial support under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme. More information is provided on their website.

    Practical information


    The ISNL will take place on the campus of the University of Montpellier located in Montpellier, France.


    Local accommodation information, including options for student housing, will be distributed to participants upon their acceptance into the course.

    Dress code

    The dress code during the classes is informal; participants may dress casually.

    Questions and contact information

    OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
    Office of Legal Counsel

    46, Quai Alphonse Le Gallo
    92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France

    Laurence Weil
    Directrice de SFC
    Université de Montpellier
    Rue Vendémiaire
    Bat. E - Espace Richter - CS 29555
    34 961 Montpellier Cedex 2, France

    Last reviewed: 29 May 2020

    ISNL history

    ISNL logo

    Follow the NEA