This article analyzes the international regulation of the protection of the environment from nuclear radiation that takes place largely through international institutions and fora. The discussion focuses on the regulation that is undertaken by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the European Atomic Energy Community. The article draws a distinction between the regulation of: a) radiation protection, which consists primarily of quantitative exposure standards, and b) nuclear safety, which consists of design and operating standards to prevent nuclear accidents. The article compares the degree of current harmonization/internationalization of the regulation in these areas and contrasts the advanced state of international radiation protection regulation with the nascent state of international nuclear safety regulation. The article also contains discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of existing international regulatory structures, the problems of enforcing international standards on sovereign states, and the potential for increased implementation and enforcement of existing structures. Finally, it offers recommendations for the future developments of the international regulation of environmental protection from nuclear radiation. The discussion takes an environmentalist approach to the problem of the regulation of nuclear energy. A distinction is drawn between the regulation to protect people from radiation and regulation to protect the environment from such hazards. It is argued in the article that the future body of international law in the area of nuclear energy should address both issues equally.
Recommended CitationElena Molodstova, Nuclear Energy and Environmental Protection: Responses of International Law, 12 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 185 (1994)
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