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India Finalizes Nuclear Liability Law

In a move that could expand India’s civilian nuclear power sector by opening up access to foreign suppliers, India’s government has put the finishing touches on its long-awaited legislation for implementing the country’s nuclear liability law.

V Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office told journalists, “A PMO committee has approved the rules of implementation of the civil nuclear liability law. We will notify the rules within month,” IRNA news agency reported.

In 2010 the Indian Parliament passed “The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage” legislation, which would allow a NPP operator to sue for damages from a nuclear power plant’s technology supplier in the event that a nuclear incident occurs because of substandard equipment or services provided to the facility.  The suppliers' liability is currently incorporated under Indian law through the operator's “right of recourse” embodied in Article 17 (a, b and c), which, needless to say, has been viewed with extreme disfavor by a significant section of nuclear equipment suppliers.

In the wake of the March meltdown in Fukushima, many in the nuclear power industry are bracing for the reality of increased regulations.

Foreign companies already committed to expanding India’s civilian nuclear power program include France’s Areva, Russia’s Rosatom and U.S. companies GE Hitachi and Westinghouse.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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