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Criminal nuclear law: international obligations and their implementation in the EU

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In this paper, 'criminal nuclear law' is understood as the group of rules adopted at the national, regional or international level which criminalises or makes it mandatory for states to criminalise the practices associated with nuclear energy or radioactivity and which can be distinguished from other provisions relating to similar practices on the basis of the inherent ultra-hazardous nature of nuclear energy or radioactivity. The paper presents the current rules of criminal nuclear law at the international (Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material or CPPNM, Nuclear Terrorism Convention (NTC) and UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1540 (2004)), European and national levels, referring to France and Portugal as case studies. It then analyses the extent to which the European and national rules comply with international obligations. Finally, some thoughts on the possible future of international criminal nuclear law are presented.

Keywords: criminal nuclear law, nuclear energy, radioactivity, nuclear power, nuclear crime, France, Portugal

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