At the end of the 1990s, the inevitable ageing of skilled personnel at nuclear organisations raised concerns about its eventual impact on the safety of installations; although the problem was not of the same nature, this phenomenon was also experienced in connection with the replacement of a generation of lawyers specialised in nuclear law, raising the issue of knowledge transfer in this recent discipline. This situation was exacerbated by the fact that education in nuclear law was, even in “active” nuclear countries, practically non-existent. Universities were largely disinterested and nuclear institutions, both public and private, did not have the vocation to fill the gap.
The two-week International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL) was established in 2001 by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in co-operation with the University of Montpellier, to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy.
The five-day International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE) intensive course in nuclear law was added in 2011, which is designed for lawyers working in either the public or the private sector, but is also of interest to scientists, engineers, policy makers, managers and other professionals working in the nuclear field.
The NEA added a third programme in 2021, the virtual Fundamentals of International Nuclear Law (FINL), which provides a high-level, introductory review of the central aspects of international nuclear law in a condensed online programme.
The International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL) is a two-week programme run annually by the NEA and the University of Montpellier and supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Covering essential aspects of international nuclear law, it is designed for students and professionals.