Laws on waste disposal in geological environments of selected countries of the world
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Nuclear waste has been produced since Marie Curie's times and its production continues everywhere at an increasing rate that requires effective actions to its efficient storage. Since 1968, the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations (IAEA) has called for the creation of a legal framework for countries as a basic requirement which needs to be met to ensure that waste management is carried out safely. However, only in 1978, at a technical committee coordinated by IAEA, many countries representatives joined to present each other how they would deal and regulate the disposal of high level wastes (HLW) in deep geological repositories (confinement and definitive waste isolation within a geological deep repository for long periods of time raging from hundreds to thousands of years). Then, such event should be considered one of the first legal records on the topic. Later, in 1997, the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (by IAEA), was established, thus, stating that contracting countries/parties should enhance their national measures and international co-operation, including where appropriate, safetyrelated technical co-operation. Based on Nuclear Law Bulletin from Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and IAEA, this chapter briefly describes how in France, Germany, Japan, Sweden and the USA has evolved the legislation regarding geological repositories and the protection of the environment, human health and living beings.