POLICY BRIEF

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The Civil Nuclear Liability Bill

Dr. G. Balachandran was a Consulting Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • July 23, 2010

    The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 has elicited a multitude of responses from various sections of the Indian public. This study attempts to put the Bill in some perspective in relation to the Indian energy security, the protection that needs to be afforded to the Indian public in case of a nuclear incident, the advancement of Indian nuclear industry in the global market, taking into account all national and international factors.

    Section 1 of the Brief discusses the rationale for a nuclear liability bill from the perspectives on national and international rules and regulations in respect of nuclear industry. Section 2 discusses the safety-related aspects of the nuclear industry and its global record as well as the record of the Indian nuclear industry to establish a relatively safe operating environment of nuclear industry especially the nuclear power plants. (NPPs). Section 3 sets out the requirements of a nuclear liability law in conformity with international conventions. Section 4 discusses the current international practice in respect of civil nuclear liability in countries that operate NPPs. Section 5 discusses the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 in relation to the international practice. Section 6 discusses some of the specific clauses of the Indian bill in comparison with corresponding clauses in other countries’ national laws.

    In particular subsection (v) discusses the treatment of supplier’s liability in some of the other national laws. Section 7 discusses some other miscellaneous aspects relating to liability regimes such as premium paid, radiological incidents such as the Mayapuri incident etc. Section 8 gives tentative conclusions based on the previous sections.

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