New Delhi, February 8
Foreign suppliers of atomic reactors to India cannot be sued for damages by victims of a nuclear accident but can be held liable by the operator who has the right of recourse, the government said today releasing details of the understanding reached with the US recently.
In a seven-page ‘frequently asked questions’ dealing with contentious issues, including liability, compensation and right of recourse in case of nuclear mishap, the External Affairs Ministry said the understanding on the policy hurdles were reached after three rounds of discussions between the Indo-US Nuclear Contact Group, which met last in London, just three days before President Barack Obama arrived here on January 25.
“Based on these discussions, an understanding was reached with the US on the two outstanding issues on civil nuclear cooperation, which was confirmed by the leaders (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Obama) on January 25, 2015,” the ministry said.
Asserting that the country’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages (CLND) Act “channels all legal liability for nuclear damage exclusively to the operator”, the MEA said, “concerns” over the broad scope of Section 46, pertaining to possible actions under other laws, have been raised by suppliers, both domestic and foreign and clarified that the section “does not provide a basis for bringing claims for compensation for nuclear damage under other Acts.”
The ministry further said this Section applies exclusively to the operator and does not extend to the supplier was confirmed by the Parliamentary debates at the time of the adoption of the CLND Act.
“It may be noted that the CLND Bill was adopted by a vote. During the course of the vote on various clauses of the Bill, in the Rajya Sabha two amendments were moved for clause 46 that finally became Section 46 of the CLND Act that inter-alia sought to include suppliers in this provision. Both those amendments were negatived,” it said. — PTI
Govt tries to clear air
In detailed FAQs dealing with contentious issues, including liability, compensation and right of recourse in case of nuclear mishap, the External Affairs Ministry said the understanding on the policy hurdles were reached after three rounds of discussions between the Indo-US Nuclear Contact Group, which met last in London, just three days before President Barack Obama arrived in Delhi on January 25
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