Nuclear liability issue: Government trying to obtain insurance cover

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 7 2014, 06:18am hrs
The government is addressing the concerns raised by domestic suppliers over certain provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010 and is working out a scheme to obtain appropriate insurance cover from domestic insurance companies.

Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for department of atomic energy Jitendra Singh said that nuclear equipment suppliers are objecting to certain provisions of the CLND Act.

"Specifically, these relate to Section 17 (b) of the Act which provide for operator's right of recourse on the supplier where the nuclear incident has resulted as a consequence of an act of the supplier or his employee, which includes supply of equipment or material with patent or latent defect or substandard services.

"In order to address the concerns raised by domestic suppliers, a scheme based on obtaining appropriate insurance cover from domestic insurance companies, is currently being worked out," Singh said.

He added that signing of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal has also benefitted the country as an exemption was given by the Nuclear Suppliers Group enabling India to conduct nuclear trade. "NSG has made an exemption enabling India to benefit from civil nuclear trade in nuclear material and equipment. The shortage of domestically available uranium has been overcome in the case of domestic reactors which are under IAEA safeguards," he said.

The use of imported nuclear fuel has enabled these reactors to operate at full power over long time periods, the minister added.

Responding to another question, Singh said the average tariff for the electricity generated by the nuclear power plants for 2013-14 is R2.71 per unit. "The notified tariffs of electricity generated by nuclear plants in India range from 95 paise per unit in respect of the first station, Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) units 1 and 2 and R3.41 per unit in case of the latest station, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) units 5 and 6.