195 ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2017 Chapter 07 - International relations 4.5 Other conventions linked to nuclear safety and radiation protection Other international conventions, the scope of which does not fall within the remit of ASN, may be linked to nuclear safety. Of particular relevance is the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the purpose of which is to reinforce protection against malicious acts and against misappropriation of nuclear materials. The Convention came into force on 8th February 1987. It had 155 contracting parties in 2017. An amendment to this convention, which entered into force in 2016, was ratified by 115 of them. 5. Bilateral relations ASN collaborates with numerous countries through bilateral agreements, which can take the form of governmental agreements (such as with Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland) or administrative arrangements between ASN and its counterparts (about twenty). ASN and its counterparts hold discussions on subjects which frequently concern topical national safety and radiation protection matters (legislation, safety topics, incidents, inspection approach, etc.). 5.1 Staff exchanges between ASN and its foreign counterparts Better understanding how foreign nuclear safety and radiation protection regulators actually function is a way to learn pertinent lessons for the working of ASN itself and to enhance staff training. One of the means used to achieve this is to develop personnel exchanges, notably with the ONR (Office for Nuclear Regulation) and the NRC. Provision is made for several types of exchange: ཛྷ ཛྷ very short term actions (a few days) are a means of offering our counterparts a chance to take part in peer-observation of inspections and nuclear and radiological emergency exercises. In 2016, about 30 peer observations of inspections in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection were organised with Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland; ཛྷ ཛྷ short-term assignments (2 weeks to 6 months) aimed at studying a specific technical topic; ཛྷ ཛྷ long-term exchanges (about one to three years) for immersion in the activities and operations of foreign nuclear safety and radiation protection regulators. Whenever possible, this type of exchange should be reciprocal. 5.2 Bilateral cooperation between ASN and its foreign counterparts Bilateral relations between ASN and its foreign counterparts are built around an approach that integrates nuclear safety and radiation protection for each of the countries with which ASN maintains relations. Below is a summary of the key moments of 2017: South Africa 9th November 2017: steam generators replacement, decommissioning, emergency management and relations with the technical support organisation (IRSN). Bilateral Franco-American meeting in the margins of the public annual conference of the American nuclear safety regulator (Regulatory Information Conference, RIC) 2017. In the centre, Olivier Gupta, ASN Director General, and Victor McCree, Director General of the NRC, Washington, 15th March 2017.