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Nuclear Liability


Source: TH

 Context: Talks between Indian and French officials over several issues, including liability, for the construction of six nuclear power reactors in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur, have not resulted in any breakthrough.


Issues concerned:

  • India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLNDA)
  • The high cost of power per unit
  • Opposition from activists and locals for the fear of environmental damage and health hazards
  • Safety concerns: Concerns over the safety of nuclear power have prompted Germany to switch off its last nuclear power reactor.


What is nuclear liability?

Nuclear liability refers to the legal responsibility for damages and compensation in case of a nuclear accident or incident. It involves determining who is responsible for the damages caused and who will pay for the compensation of those affected.


What is CLNDA?

It is an Indian law enacted in 2010 to provide a civil liability regime for nuclear damage in India. Key provisions of the Act:

  • It provides for strict and no-fault liability on the operator, where it will be held liable for damage regardless of any fault on its part.
  • Concept of supplier of equipment’s liability over and above that of the operator’s
  • It specifies the liability of nuclear operators
  • The compensation payable in the event of a nuclear incident
  • The process for claiming compensation
  • Establishes the Nuclear Damage Claims Commission to adjudicate claims for compensation
  • Establishes the Nuclear Liability Fund to provide financial support in the event of a nuclear incident.

About Jaitapur nuclear power project (signed in 2010):

 It is a proposed 9,900 MW nuclear power plant in Maharashtra, India. It is planned to be constructed by the French energy company Electricite de France (EDF), using six European pressurised reactors (EPRs). It is the world’s biggest nuclear power generation site under consideration at present


About Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) (adopted 1997):

It seeks to establish a uniform global legal regime for compensation to victims in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident. India is a party to it. It is based on the exclusive liability of the operator of a nuclear installation and no other person (but Indian law provides for the Supplier’s liability as well)