Jonathan Bellamy has published an important article in a special issue of the Oxford University Press journal, The Journal of World Energy Law & Business.
An established, predictable legal framework and the availability of appropriate insurance for an operator’s civil liability for nuclear damage are essential parts of the operation of a nuclear programme for all stakeholders, including national governments, operators, supply chain contractors and the populations concerned. Appropriate insurance will depend on the underlying legal liabilities of the operator in the jurisdiction concerned. The underlying legal regime is a function of the applicable international nuclear liability regime, if any, and the national nuclear liability regime. This article establishes the global context by identifying the volume and geographic distribution of nuclear new build programmes across the world, the established nuclear power states and the new entrants to that market. Civil liability for nuclear damage is a function of the potential liabilities in the relevant legal jurisdictions. In the nuclear liability sector, the potential civil liabilities for nuclear damage originate in both international law and in national law. This article discusses the relative merits of the various international nuclear liability regimes: the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage of 1963 (as amended); the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy of 1960 (as amended); the Brussels Convention 1963 and IAEA’s Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) with particular emphasis on the CSC and its potential to establish a global nuclear liability regime. It identifies the Seven Basic Legal Principles from the competing international nuclear liability regimes and contrasts these generally accepted principles with the legal diversity demonstrated by number of relevant national regimes including the USA, China, Russia, India, UK and the United Arab Emirates.
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