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Home > Publications > Research Papers > > Appendix A: Summary of Provisions of International Nuclear Liability Conventions
Nuclear Liability: A Key Component of the Public Policy Decision to Deploy Nuclear Energy in Southeast Asia

Appendix A: Summary of Provisions of International Nuclear Liability Conventions

S No. Particulars Paris Convention (PC)
(as Amended by 1964
Additional Protocol and
1982 Protocol)*
Vienna Convention (VC)
(as Amended by 1997
Protocol “RVC”)
Convention on Supplementary
Compensation for Nuclear
Damage (CSC)**
1. Geographical Scope PC not applicable to incidents or damage occurring in territory of non-contracting state unless legislation of contracting state (where nuclear installation is located) provides for it No Provision under VC

RVC Amendment:
  • Convention shall apply to nuclear damage wherever suffered
  • Legislation of Installation State may exclude application of convention if damage suffered in the territory or maritime zone of a non-contracting state
CSC applicable to damage in contracting party or beyond territory of contracting party on ship or aircraft registered or artificial installation/island under the jurisdiction or in exclusive economic zone or continental shelf of contracting party
2. Nondiscrimination Convention and national law applied without discrimination on nationality, domicile, or residence
  • Same as under PC
RVC Amendment:
  • Installation state may derogate from the convention if compensation for nuclear damage is in excess of 150 million special drawing rights
  • Same as under PC
  • Additionally, installation state may exclude damage suffered by non-contracting state if it is obligated under any other convention
3. Nuclear Damage Liability of operator under PC for:
  • Damage/loss of life
  • Damage/loss of property other than (a) nuclear installation itself or (b) any property on same site
Nuclear damage means:
  • Loss of life/personal injury/damage to property arising from radioactive properties or combination of radioactive property and toxic, explosive, or other hazardous properties
  • If law of competent court provides, loss/damage to life or damage to property resulting from ionizing radiation
RVC Amendment:
Nuclear damage means:
  • Loss of life/personal injury
  • Damage to property
Subject to extent determined by competent court:
  • Economic loss arising from loss of life/personal injury/damage to property
  • Cost for reinstatement of impaired environment
  • Loss of income due to impairment of environment
  • Costs of preventive measures
  • Any other economic loss caused by impairment of environment if permitted by law on civil liability
  • To extent that loss/damage arises from ionizing radiation or combination of radioactive property and toxic, explosive, or other hazardous properties
Same as under RVC Amendment
Operators Liability
4. Exclusive Liability
  • Same as under CSC
  • Additionally, except under convention, no other person is liable if nuclear incident occurs during transportation
  • Only operator liable for nuclear damage
  • Insurer may be liable to pay compensation subject to laws of competent court
  • No liability of operator for non-nuclear damage
  • Right to compensation exercised only against operator. Subject to national law, direct right of action may lie against insurer or financial guarantor furnishing security
5. Exclusion of Liability of Operator No liability of operator for damage due to armed conflict, hostilities, civil war or insurrection, or due to grave natural disaster of exceptional character
  • Same as under PC
  • Additionally, if operator proves nuclear damage resulted wholly/partly from gross negligence or act/omission with intent to cause damage by any person, operator may be relieved to pay damages to such person
Same as under VC
6. Right of Recourse Operator shall have right to recourse only if (a) such right is provided in a written contract or (b) the incident occurs from an act or omission done with intent to cause damage Same as under PC
  • Same as under PC
  • Additionally, contracting parties to enact legislation to enable other contracting parties who paid contribution to benefit from right of recourse of operator
Compensation Amounts
7. Liability Limits of Operator
  • Maximum liability of operator is 15 million special drawing rights
  • Contracting party may, if provision for insurance provided in accordance with convention, increase or decrease amount of liability. However, a decreased amount of liability of operator shall not be less than 5 million special drawing rights
  • Minimum liability of operator is US $5 million, excluding interests and costs
RVC Amendment:
  • Minimum liability of operator not less than 300 million special drawing rights
  • Liability of operator not less than 150 million special drawing rights, and if public funds made available, up to 300 million special drawing rights
  • For transitional period of fifteen years, liability of operator to be not less than 100 million special drawing rights, and if minimum is fixed below 100 million special drawing rights, public funds to be made available for compensation
  • Installation state may in its discretion set lower limit of operator’s liability to not less than 5 million special drawing rights, and make public funds available up to such amount specified for compensation
  • Liability of operator not less than 300 million special drawing rights or not less than 150 million special drawing rights, if public funds made available up to 300 million special drawing rights
  • Installation state may in its discretion set lower limit of liability of operator not less than 5 million special drawing rights and make public funds available up to such amount specified for compensation
  • Contracting party may limit liability of operator for ten years to an amount not less than 150 million special drawing rights
  • Maximum amount of operator’s liability payable for nuclear incident during carriage is governed by national law
8. Insurance Cover Type and terms of insurance or financial security specified by competent public authority
  • Operator to maintain insurance as specified by installation state. If yield of insurance is inadequate, installation state to provide public funds
RVC Amendment:
  • Where liability of operator is unlimited insurance of at least 300 million special drawing rights
  • Installation state may in its discretion set lower limit of insurance to not less than 5 million special drawing rights
Same as under VC and RVC Amendment
9. Public Funds Contracting party to take necessary measures to provide public funds if there is an increase in the amount of compensation Public funds used under convention as discussed in liability limit and insurance cover above
  • Public funds used under convention as discussed in liability limit and insurance cover above
  • For liability of operator beyond the amount of 300 million special drawing rights or beyond such greater amount as specified or beyond 150 million special drawing rights for first ten years, compensation for damage to be settled through public funds
10. Enforcement of Rights of Compensation Except in measures of execution of right, no invocation of any jurisdictional immunities before competent court Same as under PC

RVC Amendment:
  • Persons suffering damage may enforce their right without bringing separate proceeding according to origin of source of fund provided
  • Contracting parties to ensure any State may bring action for damages on behalf of its nationals, domiciles, and residents
Persons suffering damage may enforce their right without bringing separate proceeding according to origin of source of fund provided
11. Nature Form and Extent of Compensation Governed by national law Governed by law of competent court subject to provisions of convention

RVC Amendment:
  • If compensation likely to exceed maximum prescribed, priority in distribution shall be given to claims in respect of loss of life or personal injury
Governed by law of competent court
12. Time Limits
  • Right to compensation extinguishes after ten years from date of incident
  • Under national legislation, if measures provided to cover liability of operator, such period of ten years may be extended by contracting party
  • Right to compensation extinguishes after ten years from date of incident
  • Under insurance system of national law, period more than ten years may also be provided
RVC Amendment:
  • Right to compensation extinguishes in thirty years from date of incident for loss of life/personal property and ten years from date of incident for other damage
Same as under VC
13. Jurisdiction
  • Courts in whose territory the incident occurred shall have jurisdiction
  • If incident occurs beyond territory of contracting party or place of incident not determinable, then courts of contracting party where installation is situated will have jurisdiction
  • If incident occurs partly outside any contracting party and partly within single contracting party, jurisdiction lies with the court of contracting party. In any other case, courts of contracting party determined at request of contracting party concerned
  • Courts in whose territory the incident occurred shall have jurisdiction
  • If incident occurs beyond territory of contracting party or place of incident not determinable, then courts of installation state of operator will have jurisdiction
RVC Amendment:
  • If installation located in exclusive economic zone of contracting party, courts of that party shall have jurisdiction
  • If jurisdiction lies within more than one contracting party it may be fixed by agreement
  • Incident partly outside any contracting party and partly within single contracting party jurisdiction lies with the court of contracting party
Same as under VC

Additionally:
  • If installation located in exclusive economic zone of contracting party, courts of that party shall have jurisdiction
  • If jurisdiction lies within more than one contracting party it may be fixed by agreement
14. Applicable Law National law or the national legislation (substantive and procedural) of the court having jurisdiction Law of court having jurisdiction under convention Either VC, PC, or annex to CSC shall apply to exclusion of other subject to the provisions PC/VC/CSC; the applicable law shall be the law of the competent court

*2004 Protocol to amend the Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability is not yet in force, http://www.oecd-nea.org/law/paris-convention-ratification.html.

**Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage is not yet in force, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Conventions/supcomp_status.pdf.