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Basic Concepts of International Nuclear Law

National Research Nuclear University MEPhI via edX

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Nuclear power gives us hope and potential for significant benefits, in a variety of fields, from medicine and agriculture to electricity production and industry. At the same time, we all know that nuclear energy poses serious risks. This course observes concepts of nuclear safety to the health, humans and to the environment. The specifics of the legal framework, of the management of risks and nuclear liability are represented to students.

It is important to recognize that international legal norms for the regulation of nuclear energy, including radioactive material, and radioactive waste management are also a part of a State’s national legal system.

In this course we will look at the most basic and fundamental areas and issues that need to be addressed when analyzing and developing legal norms for such a highly complex technology as nuclear power.


Week 1. International Law

  • Concept and definition of International Law (IL). Public and private IL
  • Sources of IL
  • Subjects of IL
  • IL in national legislation, incorporating techniques
  • State responsibility in IL
  • State responsibility under International Nuclear Law (INL)

Week 2. General Principles of International Law

  • No threat of use of force, peaceful settlement of international disputes, non-intervention in the internal affairs
  • Co-operation with other states, equal rights and self-determination of peoples, sovereign equality of states
  • Good faith fulfilment of international obligations, territorial integrity, inviolability of state borders, universal respect for human rights

Week 3. International Public Law of Treaties

  • Law of international treaties
  • International commercial contracts

Week 4. International Nuclear Law (INL)

  • Concept, definition and objective of International Nuclear Law (INL).
  • History of INL
  • Drafting nuclear legislation
  • Nuclear security and safety
  • Binding international obligations

Week 5. Principles of Nuclear Law

  • The safety principle, the security principle, the responsibility principle, the permission principle
  • The continuous control principle, the compensation principle, the sustainable development principle, the compliance principle
  • The independence principle, the transparency principle, the international co-operation principle

Taught by

Olga Moiseeva


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  • Profile image for Nabil Alfayoumi
    Nabil Alfayoumi
    How can I follow this course. Because I need to know the details of the nuclear law. Therefore, I tried to register for this course, but a page appeared saying that this course is not available? .

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