2004 Protocol to Amend the Brussels Supplementary Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability

Given the modifications effected by the adoption of the 2004 Protocol to Amend the Paris Convention, particularly the increase in liability amounts, it was necessary to make corresponding amendments to the Brussels Supplementary Convention. On 12 February 2004 the contracting parties to the convention adopted the Protocol to Amend the Brussels Convention Supplementary to the Paris Convention of 29 July 1960, as amended.

The revised Brussels Supplementary Convention will continue to be subject to the provisions of the revised Paris Convention including those which define "nuclear installation", "nuclear incident" and "nuclear damage". Similarly, there has been no change to the requirement that no state may become or remain a party to the Brussels Supplementary Convention unless it is a Party to the Paris Convention.

For those Paris Convention States which are also party to the Brussels Supplementary Convention, additional compensation made up of public funds will be available to compensate victims of nuclear damage where the amounts under the Paris Convention are insufficient. The revised Brussels Supplementary Convention will maintain its basic three-tier compensation system but with significantly increased amounts: the first tier will continue to come from the operator's financial security but will be at least €700 million; the second tier will be provided by the state in whose territory the liable operator's installation is situated and will be up to €500 million; and the third tier will be made available by all of the contracting parties and be up to €300 million. Thus, the total compensation available to victims of a nuclear incident under the combined Paris-Brussels regime will be not less than €1.5 billion.

The method of calculating each contracting party's financial contribution to the third tier will also be changed. While the existing Convention's formula calls for contributions based 50% on gross national product and 50% on installed nuclear capacity, the new method of calculation is based 35% on gross domestic product and 65% on installed nuclear capacity, reflecting the sense of responsibility which BSC states place on nuclear power generating states.

Operator liability amounts under the revised Brussels Supplementary Convention
  Before revision After revision
First tier National limit (SDR 5 million* minimum)

€700 million minimum

Second tier Difference between the first tier and SDR 175 million €500 million

Third tier

SDR 125 million minimum €300 million

The revised Brussels Supplementary Convention will also contain provisions which extend the existing scope of application of the Convention, making it apply, under specified circumstances, to nuclear damage suffered in or above maritime areas beyond the territorial sea of a Contracting Party or in or above a Contracting Party's exclusive economic zone. However, because the funds to be provided under the second and third tiers are considered "public" money, compensation under the revised Brussels Supplementary Convention will continue to be made available only to compensate victims in states that have agreed to participate in the supplementary regime.

*The unit of account used in the Paris Convention is the Special Drawing Right, a unit of account defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) based upon a basket of key international currencies. The currency value of the SDR is calculated daily and the valuation basket is reviewed and adjusted every five years.

Related links

Brussels Supplementary Convention

Recommendation of the Council on the application of the Brussels Supplementary Convention, in the field of Nuclear Liability, 26 November 1992 - C(92)166/FINAL Recommandation du Conseil sur les modalités d'application de la Convention Complémentaire de Bruxelles, dans le domaine de la responsabilité civile nucléaire, 26 novembre 1992

Recommendation of the Council with Respect to the Paris Convention of 29th July 1960 on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy, as amended by the Additional Protocol of 28th January 1964 and the Brussels Convention of 31st January 1963 Supplementary to the Paris Convention as Amended by the Additional Protocol of 28th January 1964, 16 November 1982 - C(82)182 Recommandation du Conseil concernant la Convention de Paris du 29 juillet 1960 sur la responsabilité civile dans le domaine de l'énergie nucléaire telle qu'elle a été amendée par le Protocole Additionnel du 28 janvier 1964, et la Convention de Bruxelles du 31 janvier 1963 complémentaire à la Convention de Paris, telle qu'elle a été amendée par le Protocole Additionnel du 28 janvier 1964, 16 novembre 1982

European Nuclear Energy Tribunal Tribunal européen pour l'énergie nucléaire

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Last reviewed: 6 September 2011