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RADIOACTIVE WASTES:

The two background documents for the discussion of radioactive wastes were the Secretary-General's report on radioactive wastes (E/CN.17/1994/15) and the Task Manager's Report prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA.) While the IAEA's report was praised, there were several criticisms of the Secretary-General's report. Delegates complained that it was distributed late, resulting in insufficient time for analysis, and that parts of the report were incorrect.

The Chair's draft text was the least controversial of all the sectoral texts. Each reading was very quick and there was agreement on all issues. The final text (E/CN.17/1994/L.6) urges governments to promptly begin the development of an international convention on the safety of radioactive waste management. At Sweden's request, the Commission has addressed the decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the need to address radioactive defense wastes that are often outside the mandate of national safety agencies. The text also supports the November 1993 decision of the London Dumping Convention to convert the voluntary moratorium on ocean dumping of radioactive wastes into a binding prohibition. The text notes that the export of radioactive wastes to countries without the technical, economic, legal and administrative resources for their management is inadmissible.