Spent nuclear fuel is an inevitable product from the development of nuclear energy. Almost all of the fuel content is radioactive, and long systematic process are required for the safety management, which has always been an important global issue. In order to make sure that spent nuclear fuel should be safely managed in different countries developing nuclear power, IAEA is establishing a sharing system of spent nuclear fuel management by concluding joint conventions and issuing safety standards. For different countries, the United States, France and Russia with nuclear power have all established a complete policy and legislative system for spent fuel management. In the US, policy decision of open-cycle has been made, and no commercial reprocessing is being conducted. In France and Russia, closed-cycle strategy is implemented with industrial-scale reprocessing plant in operation. At present, China has become the country with the largest scale of nuclear power under construction in the world. There will be a large number of spent nuclear fuel requiring properly and safely managed. The lessons-learning of how developed countries managing spent nuclear fuel arising is important for China. The authors suggest that it is necessary to combine the top-level design to the legal practice, so that there are laws to respect during all steps of spent fuel management, and responsibilities of all parties are clear.