1. Name and registration
The International Association for Environmentally Safe Disposal of RAdioactive Materials – EDRAM – is established as a non-profitmaking organisation according to Swiss Civil Law (Art. 60 of the Civil Law Code).
2. Objectives of the Association
In order to promote the exchange of knowledge, experience and information among its members, the Association has the following objectives:
2.1 Creating a forum where strategic questions can be discussed among waste management organisations in order to support the structuring of national waste management programmes, particularly in relation to demonstrating safety and the protection of humans and the environment to the public and regulatory authorities.
2.2 Supporting national site selection processes and implementation of long-term waste management strategies, as well as promoting a common understanding of radioactive waste management issues and internationally recognised principles.
2.3 Promoting coordinated research and development activities, particularly in underground rock laboratories.
2.4 Establishing standpoints and, where appropriate, coordinating actions with international organisations (e.g. OECD, IAEA, EU), taking into account the value of open discussions with governments and regulatory authorities.
2.5 Discussing technical issues, in particular with regard to benchmarking and identifying best practice, without affecting existing mechanisms for collaboration on specific projects.
In order to achieve these goals, EDRAM mainly organises expert group meetings, workshops and seminars, technical visits, staff exchanges and reviews at bilateral and multilateral level. Specific joint activities can also be carried out.
3. Status of Members with Respect to the Association
Each member agency retains full power and ability to speak for itself, internationally as well as in its own country. The Chairman will be the spokesman of the Association only on specific subjects to be decided upon by the Association on a case by case basis.
The constitutional organs of the Association are
- the General Assembly
- the Executive Board
- the Administrator
- the Auditors
4.1 General Assembly – powers, sessions, voting
Under the exclusion of fundamental, unalterable provisions of Swiss Civil Law, as the supreme authority of the Association the General Assembly has the power to
elect the Executive Board, the Administrator, the Chairman and the Auditors and define their competences
- decide on applications for, or cancellation of, membership of the Association
- discharge the Executive Board
- approve the accounts of the Association
- make decisions regarding the budget and the annual financial contributions of the members
- modify the statutes
- create further organisational structures as deemed appropriate
- dissolve the Association.
The General Assembly shall be summoned in ordinary session by the Chairman at least once in each calendar year. It shall be summoned in extraordinary session by the Chairman upon the Chairman's own decision or upon a written request submitted by at least one-fifth of the members.
Decisions of the General Assembly shall be by a simple majority of the representatives present, with the exception of decisions relating to modification of the statutes or dissolution of the Association which require a two-thirds majority. The written agreement of all members to a proposal shall be deemed equivalent to a decision of the General Assembly.
The General Assembly shall be chaired by the Chairman. In the absence of the Chairman, the members present at a session may appoint another member to act on behalf of the Chairman for this purpose.
The Association shall operate with the support of a simple infrastructure, with rotation of responsibilities among the members. Elections made by the General Assembly shall, in principle, be for a period of two years.
A protocol shall be kept of the business of the General Assembly.
4.2 Executive Board – powers, sessions, voting
The Executive Board, elected by the General Assembly, consists of one or more persons and is chaired by the Chairman. The management of the Association is incumbent on the Executive Board, which is represented externally by the Chairman and the Administrator (par. 4.3). The Chairman has sole signature rights.
The Executive Board may delegate the powers assigned to it by appropriate resolution, provided that these powers can be delegated, and may also withdraw delegated powers.
The Executive Board meets at the invitation of the Chairman as often as the Association's business requires and constitutes a quorum if more than half of the members of the Board are present. Each member has one vote. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairman has the casting vote. Decisions are made by a simple majority of the votes present and cast. Circular resolutions are permissible and must be recorded at the next Board meeting.
The Executive Board elects an Administrator who is resident in Switzerland but does not have to be a member of the Association. The Administrator reports directly to the Executive Board or the Chairman. The Administrator acts on the instructions of the Chairman and implements the decisions of the Board. For this purpose, the Administrator has sole signature rights.
If the task is not entrusted by the General Assembly to a professional auditing company, two auditors shall be appointed by the General Assembly to undertake an annual audit of the Association's accounts. For this purpose, the Auditors shall have access at all times to the relevant books, documents and reports and shall examine all cash and financial records.
The accounting period shall be the calendar year.
5. Financial resources
5.1 The activities of the Association shall be financed by:
- annual contributions fixed by the General Assembly
- contributions of member organisations participating in special projects as outlined and agreed in project-specific budgets to cover direct costs
- any other resources or revenues which may result from the Association's activities
- Each member organisation will cover its own expenses of participation in the Association's activities.
5.2 In the event that the Association is dissolved, the remaining assets will be divided equally among the members at the time.
5.3 The members of the Association are responsible only for their annual financial contribution. The Association is liable only to the extent of its assets.
6.1 The members of the Association are well-established organisations with responsibility for management of radioactive wastes in their respective countries.
6.2 Membership may be terminated by written notice of withdrawal, subject to a minimum of six months notice prior to the end of the calendar year.
6.3 Applications for new membership will be considered from well-established organisations who are the national agencies or bodies responsible for radioactive waste management in their respective countries and who have a comprehensive research programme sustained by field activities.
6.4 Applicants for new membership must accept the EDRAM statutes and objectives. Applications for new membership require the agreement of all current members. Written agreement to an application will be deemed equivalent to a decision made within the framework of the General Assembly.
7. Availability of information
7.1 Each member shall decide itself, based on the relevant laws and policies of its own country, on the nature and scope of the information, know-how and data it wishes to make available to the other members of the Association.
7.2 The activities of the Association are intended to support the individual work programmes of its members. The results of the Association's activities will thus be available indirectly through the national programmes of the members. The confidentiality of the working papers and discussions of the Association shall be protected, where appropriate, to the extent authorised by the respective national laws and policies of its members.
7.3 The Executive Board may decide to make the agreed consensus and other appropriate matters (e.g. position papers) public directly through the Association.