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National Sovereignty and Responsibility for Spent Nuclear Fuel

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates to what extent existing multilateral regulation affects national competence to develop exclusively national systems for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Moreover, the analysis includes a forward looking perspective, taking into account arguments and initiatives for the development of multinational repositories for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel, and calls for limitations on sovereignty concerning national control over the final stages in a civilian nuclear fuel cycle. These initiatives constitute a challenge to the national positions of several states, such as Sweden, France and Finland, all of which have enacted national laws prohibiting the disposal of foreign spent nuclear fuel within their territories. This principle of exclusive national responsibility has a clear political logic: the political choice of whether or not to develop a civilian nuclear industry lies within national sovereignty.

Keywords: civilian nuclear industry; national laws; national sovereignty; nuclear fuel



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