nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) does not override India’s nuclear liability law

Nuclear still unclear: Does ratification of CSC fix problems of nuclear law?   Now that India has ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage, the question is whether this paves the way for firms like GE, Westinghouse and Areva setting up nuclear plants in India or whether the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CNLD) Act still effectively acts as a deterrent. The Financial Express, By:  | New Delhi | February 5, 2016  Now that India has ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage, the question is whether this paves the way for firms like GE, Westinghouse and Areva setting up nuclear plants in India or whether the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CNLD) Act still effectively acts as a deterrent. Considering that, on his visit to India less than six months ago, GE CEO Jeff Immelt was quite dismissive of the changes proposed by India, it would appear it isn’t quite the done deal that was made out by the government which, after the ratification in Vienna, said “this marks a conclusive step in the addressing of issues related to civil nuclear liability in India”.

While in India, Immelt had said “the world has an established liability regime … it has been accepted and adopted … I can’t put my company on risk … India can’t reinvent the language on liability”. All that the ratification means, for all practical purposes, is that India considers its nuclear liability law to be in conformity with the CSC; it doesn’t mean that the CSC will now override the Indian law. Indeed, as the FAQs released by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) last year in February make clear, India has believed its law to be in conformity with CSC for a long time. “Based on the presentations by the Indian side …”, the MEA’s FAQs read, “there is a general understanding that India’s CLND law is compatible with the CSC”; at another place, the FAQs states “the provisions of the CLND Act are broadly in conformity with the CSC”.

The MEA sought to downplay the concerns of investors like Immelt on Clauses 17 and 46 – and, to a lesser extent, even clause 6 – of the CLND. While clause 6 talks of the central government, from time to time, reviewing the operator’s liability, clauses 17 and 46 deal with supplier liability and possible suits based on this – the initial no-faults liability under the law is that of the operator of the plant, not the supplier, but the operator can file a damages claim against suppliers later. ……..
 the MEA says, there were two amendments to this clause that specifically tried to include suppliers in the provision but these were not adopted by Parliament. And, apart from the funds that will be available from the CSC – each nuclear supplier contributes to this fund which is to be used in case of an accident – the government also talks of the Rs 1,500 crore Indian nuclear insurance pool set up which potential suppliers can use to insure themselves. The question, the lawyers of nuclear suppliers are asking is: in case of an accident, will courts go by the written law or by the MEA’s FAQs and the government’s intent in creating the insurance pool. Immelt made his answer quite clear; that of the other suppliers is not clear as yet. http://www.financialexpress.com/article/fe-columnist/nuclear-still-unclear-does-ratification-of-csc-fix-problems-of-nuclear-law/207722/

February 8, 2016 - Posted by | India, Legal

1 Comment »

  1. […] The interpretation of this Convention appears to still be unclear on both the India end and US end. It is undergoing revision at the US DOE: “Nuclear still unclear: Does ratification of CSC fix problems of nuclear law?” The Financial Express, By: Sunil Jain | New Delhi | February 5, 2016. https://nuclear-news.net/2016/02/08/convention-on-supplementary-compensation-csc-does-not-override-i… […]

    Pingback by Gov Nikki Haley $55,000 from Holtec Nuclear’s Kris Singh; Sec of State Interprets Treaties; Possible Conflict of Interest in Application of Nuclear Liability Agreement | Mining Awareness + | November 21, 2016 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: