India ratifies convention on nuclear damages

RSTV Bureau
File Photo: Rajiva Misra, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Vienna, Austria.

File Photo: Rajiva Misra, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Vienna, Austria.

India on Friday ratified the convention of supplementary compensation for nuclear damages and handed over the instrument of ratification to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The convention’s ratification by India is a result of general understanding among the nuclear suppliers that the country’s nuclear liability law is in line with the global regime.

India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Vienna, Austria, Rajiva Misra handed over the Instrument of Ratification to Juan Carlos Lentijo, acting director general of united nation’s nuclear watchdog international atomic energy agency (IAEA), official sources said.

The convention would come into effect on May 04 this year.

The convention’s ratification is an important step in addressing the concerns of foreign nuclear suppliers. Foreign vendors were reluctant to participate in India’s growing civilian nuclear commerce sector citing stringent liability clauses for reactor suppliers in case of an accident.

Clauses under the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act were major impediments in the progress of building reactors by the US companies.
The move will also help establish a worldwide liability regime of enhanced compensation for nuclear damages.

The issue of ratification was discussed by the Contact Group between India and the US last year. The idea of the India Nuclear Insurance Pool as a part of the overall risk management scheme for liability was also presented to Washington. The Nuclear Insurance Pool was formed in June 2015.

Based on the presentations by the Indian side there was a general understanding among the nuclear suppliers that India’s CLND law is compatible with the Convention of Supplementary Compensation (CSC).

India is seeking nuclear reactors from Russia, France and US to scale up its nuclear power generation program. But among all the three suppliers, the US had pressed for ratification of the Convention of Supplementary Compensation (CSC) by India.

The objective of the CSC is to establish a worldwide liability regime and to increase the amount of compensation available to the victims of nuclear accidents.

(With inputs from agencies)