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Charter of Ethics

The World Nuclear Association has established a Charter of Ethics to serve as a common credo amongst its Member organizations. This affirmation of values and principles summarizes the responsibilities of the nuclear industry and the surrounding legal and institutional framework. All companies must agree to the Charter of Ethics upon joining WNA:

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We, the Members of the World Nuclear Association, affirm:

Premises 

  • Our belief that sustainability must be the guiding principle of global development – requiring worldwide policies that meet the needs and aspirations of the present generation without compromising the opportunity of future generations to fulfil their needs and aspirations;
  • Our confidence that nuclear power is a ‘sustainable development’ technology because its fuel will be available for multiple centuries, its safety record is superior among major energy sources, its consumption causes virtually no pollution, its use preserves valuable fossil resources for future generations, its costs are competitive and still declining, and its waste can be securely managed over the long-term;
  • Our conviction that nuclear technology is a unique and indispensable tool of sustainable global development –
    • Unparalleled in its capacity to generate electricity cleanly, safely and on a large scale for a rapidly expanding world population whose future depends on the availability of environmentally sound energy resources; and
    •  Highly beneficial and cost-effective in worldwide efforts to promote agricultural productivity, eradicate virulent pests, protect livestock health, preserve food, develop water resources, enhance human nutrition, improve medical diagnosis and treatment, and advance environmental science;
     
  • Our recognition that nuclear science is proving equally valuable in supporting industrial societies and in helping the world’s poorest countries to advance;
  • Our keen awareness of the need to strengthen and sustain public confidence, both in the reliability of nuclear technology and in the people and institutions responsible for using it;

Principles 

  • Our commitment to ensuring that nuclear technology is used safely and peacefully;
  • Our resolve to prevent and expose unsafe or illicit practices regarding nuclear material and to use all necessary precautions to protect individuals, society and the environment from any harmful radiological effects arising from nuclear material during use, storage, transport and waste disposal; 
  • Our adherence to the principle and practice of transparency regarding all types of civil nuclear activity, insofar as there exists a demonstrable public interest in the availability of such information and consistent with the public interest in protecting:
    • Commercially valuable knowledge; and
    • The confidentiality integral to full and candid participation in voluntary systems of review and exchange designed to enhance and maintain nuclear safety; 
     
  • Our strong support for the work performed –
  • By governments, through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to promulgate nuclear safety standards for the worldwide nuclear industry and to ensure that there has been no spread of nuclear weapons arising from the civil nuclear fuel cycle; and
  • In industry, through the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), to develop and maintain, using a comprehensive system of technical exchange and operational peer review, a rigorous safety culture at nuclear facilities worldwide;
  • Our shared obligation to support the work of the World Nuclear Association in providing an essential means by which participants in the global nuclear industry share knowledge, coordinate efforts to advance best-practice internationally, assemble and publish reliable information on nuclear power, and achieve sound representation in world forums that shape the policy and public environment in which the industry operates;

International Legal Obligations 

  • Our individual and common responsibility to uphold respective international legal commitments embodied in –
    • The IAEA statute; safeguards agreements concluded pursuant to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; additional protocols to the safeguards agreements; and regional and bilateral accords providing for IAEA verification;
    • The Convention on Nuclear Safety; the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material; the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident; the Convention on Assistance in the Case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency; the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter; the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management; the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism; and 
    • Other international treaties and conventions that contribute to ensuring the safe and peaceful use of nuclear technology throughout the world; 
     

Public Policy 

  • Our intention to cooperate, in a spirit of partnership, with those engaged in the research, development and operation of other technologies that yield energy without adverse effect on the biosphere; and
  • Our determination to promote, as a matter of ethical principle and urgent public need, an ongoing debate on energy resources that focuses citizens and governments alike on the real choices facing humankind and on the severe dangers – for the prospects of global development and for the biosphere – if decision-making on this fundamental policy is shaped by ideology and myth rather than by science and facts.