On 22 September 2010, a new Act on Third Party Liability for Nuclear Damage was adopted. The act governs liability for nuclear damage resulting from the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the insurance of liability for nuclear damage and the procedure for claiming compensation for nuclear damage.
The act follows the provisions of the 2004 Protocol to amend the Paris Convention regarding, for example, the extended heads of damage which are covered, increased liability amounts and extended prescription and extinction periods for nuclear damage claims. The act also regulates those areas which the convention leaves to be dealt with by national legislation. For example, the act specifically designates one court which shall be competent to rule on compensation for nuclear damage. It also includes a number of provisions regarding the rules of procedure for claiming compensation and the distribution of compensation.
The act envisages that public funds shall be provided from the state budget and that their amount as well as the manner and dynamics of their drawings shall be determined by an interventional act. The act also provides that the assessment of the amount of nuclear damage must be prepared within six months from the date of the nuclear accident by a special commission. The members of that commission shall be appointed by the government from among the representatives of different ministries (finance, environment and defence), the State Attorney’s Office, the insurer and the operator. In its assessment, the Commission shall propose the amount, the manner and the dynamics of the payment of funds. Such assessment is submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the government for adoption. During this period, which should not exceed six months, compensation shall not be payable, although the insurer may settle and pay compensation claims if the extent of nuclear damage and its known consequences make it evident that the resources of the operator (EUR 700 million) will be sufficient to provide for the full compensation to all injured parties.
Regarding those risks which nuclear insurers are unwilling or unable to cover, the act provides that a premium based insurance agreement between the government and the operator shall be concluded but such an arrangement is limited in time (until the situation on the domestic and international insurance market changes but no longer than four years). The act also prescribes all necessary provisions which ensure its compliance with the 2004 Protocol to amend the Brussels Convention.
This act shall enter into force six months after its publication in the Official Gazette. Application of some provisions directly related to the 2004 Protocol to amend the Paris Convention are at the same time linked to the entry into force of that protocol.Last updated: 6 January 2010