No need to hold foreign suppliers responsible for n-accident: AEC

New Delhi, Nov 3 (IANS) With India’s nuclear insurance pool formation in its final stages, the only issue stemming from the civil nuclear liability law requiring resolution is the right of recourse against vendors in case of accident, the AEC chairman has said.

Foreign nuclear plant suppliers were reluctant to sell their plants to India, citing provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) 2010 that provides the right of recourse to the operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) against suppliers.

“Indian reactors are erected under complete Indian supervision. There is no need to hold foreign suppliers responsible,” said Shekhar Basu, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), here on Tuesday at an event organised by the India Energy Forum.

“Part fabricators or suppliers of a nuclear plant cannot be held responsible for the entire job in the event of an accident,” he said.

Informing the gathering that the Rs.1,500 crore ($234 million) India Nuclear Insurance Pool will be in place shortly, Basu said the vexed issue of right to recourse against suppliers could be resolved contractually.

“We could put it in writing in the suppliers’ contract that they have no such responsibility in case of an accident,” Basu, who recently took charge of the AEC, told reporters later on the sidelines of the event.

“We have to make the contract condition in such a way that the right to recourse should not apply to an accident involving the entire nuclear plant,” he added.

Reinsurer GIC Re, four government-owned general insurers and also some private general insurers have provided the capacity to insure the risks to the tune of around Rs.1,000 crore and the balance Rs.500 crore capacity has been obtained from the British Nuclear Insurance Pool.

All the 21 operating nuclear power plants in India owned and operated by NPCIL are expected to come under public liability insurance cover.

The insurance cover would also extend to the 1,000 MW nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu built with Russian equipment.

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