The Nuclear Energy Agency’s Office of Legal Counsel works on a suite of publications, workshops and symposia to advance cooperation and understanding of nuclear liability.
The Fourth International Workshop on the Indemnification of Damage in the Event of a Nuclear Accident took place on 8-10 October 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. The workshop was co-organised by the Instituto Superior Técnico and the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon (Portugal), and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). Its aim was to continue exploring the practical application of the international nuclear third party liability instruments, including with regard to non-convention States, in case a nuclear incident occurred at a nuclear installation.
The workshop was attended by 140 experts from 24 NEA and five non‑NEA member countries, the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Participants included representatives from governments, regulatory authorities, technical support organisations, academia, judiciary, operators, suppliers, and law firms, as well as nuclear insurance pools. They addressed in more details two important challenges identified by the previous 2017 Bratislava Workshop (see below): the determination of the different heads of nuclear damage to be compensated and transboundary claims handling.
The NEA is currently preparing a report on practical workshop outputs to support member countries in elaborating their response to the determination of nuclear damage and claims handling in the event of a nuclear accident with transboundary damage.
On 18-20 October 2017, the NEA and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic co-organised the Third International Workshop on the Indemnification of Damage in the Event of a Nuclear Accident. Held in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, the workshop brought together more than 170 participants from 24 NEA member countries and 8 non-member countries, representing a variety of organisations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Commission, government agencies, regulatory authorities, operators, suppliers, nuclear insurance pools and law firms. It aimed to explore the practical application of international nuclear liability instruments and the potential consequences with regard to non-convention states in the event of a nuclear accident causing transboundary damage. Participants discussed approaches to determining the damage to be compensated, proving the causal link between the damage and the nuclear accident, identifying the liable entity, handling claims, resolving disputes and ensuring the adequate financial compensation for the victims.
The workshop was organised into the following sessions: (1) notification of an accident and evacuation process; (2) determining the damage to be compensated; (3) proving the causal link; (4) identifying the liable entity; (5) claims handling; (6) resolving disputes; (7) amounts available.
The proceedings of the workshop are under preparation.
The workshop was held at the International Energy Agency (IEA) Headquarters in Paris on 10-11 December 2013, and gathered nearly 75 invited experts from 14 NEA member countries, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the European Commission. The participants, representing legal experts, insurers, economists and industry communities, shared their experience regarding the legal framework and the insurance coverage for nuclear liability, with a particular focus on the financial aspects.
The workshop was organised into the following four sessions: (1) presentation of the international nuclear liability regimes; (2) presentation of selected national nuclear liability regimes and regimes applicable to other industries; (3) insurance and alternative forms of financial security; (4) the industry perspective on nuclear liability.
The Second International Workshop on the Indemnification of Nuclear Damage was held in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, from 18 to 20 May 2005. The workshop was co-organised by the NEA and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic. It attracted wide participation from national nuclear authorities, regulators, operators of nuclear installations, nuclear insurers and international organisations.
The purpose of the workshop was to assess the third party liability and compensation mechanisms that would be implemented by participating countries in the event of a nuclear accident taking place within or near their borders. To accommodate this objective, two fictitious accident scenarios were developed: one involving a fire in a nuclear installation located in the Slovak Republic and resulting in the release of significant amounts of radioactive materials off-site, and the other a fire on board a ship transporting enriched uranium hexafluoride along the Danube River. The first scenario was designed to involve the greatest possible number of countries, with the second being restricted to countries with a geographical proximity to the Danube. These proceedings contain the papers presented at the workshop, as well as reports on the discussion sessions held.
The Workshop on the Indemnification of Damage in the Event of a Nuclear Accident, organised by the NEA in close co-operation with the French authorities, was held in Paris from 26 to 28 November 2001. This event was an integral part of the International Nuclear Emergency Exercise INEX 2000. It attracted wide participation from national nuclear authorities, regulators, operators of nuclear installations, nuclear insurers and international organisations.
The objective was to test the capacity of the existing nuclear liability and compensation mechanisms in the 29 countries represented at the workshop to manage the consequences of a nuclear emergency. This workshop was based upon the scenario used for the INEX 2000 Exercise, i.e. an accident simulated at the Gravelines nuclear power plant in the north of France in May 2001. These proceedings contain a comparative analysis of legislative and regulatory provisions governing emergency response and nuclear third party liability, based upon country replies to a questionnaire. This publication also includes the full responses provided to that questionnaire, as well as the texts of presentations made by special guests from Germany and Japan describing the manner in which the public authorities in their respective countries responded to two nuclear accidents of a very different nature and scale.
The International Symposium on the Reform of Civil Nuclear Liability, organised by the NEA in co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the European Commission, was held in Budapest, Hungary, from 31 May to 3 June 1999. The event attracted over 200 participants from 50 countries, with a view to examining nuclear liability and compensation issues in the context of the recent revision of the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, the adoption of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage and the current negotiations being carried out under the aegis of the NEA on the amendment of the Paris and Brussels Conventions. These proceedings reproduce all papers which were presented at the symposium, and provide detailed records of the discussion periods.
The Symposium on Nuclear Accidents: Liabilities and Guarantees, organised by the NEA in collaboration with the IAEA, took place in Helsinki, from 31 August to 3 September 1992. The meeting discussed the nuclear third party liability regime established by the Paris and Vienna Conventions, its advantages and shortcomings, and assessed the teachings of the Chernobyl accident in the context of that regime. The topics included the geographical scope of the Conventions, the definition of nuclear damage, in particular environmental damage, insurance cover and capacity, supplementary compensation by means of a collective contribution from the nuclear industry or governments, and finally, the international liability of states in case of nuclear accident.
The proceedings of the symposium include, in English or French, the full texts of the papers presented, the ensuing discussions and the panel discussions.
The Symposium on Nuclear Third Party Liability and Insurance: Status and Prospects, organised jointly by the NEA and the IAEA, took place in Munich from 10 to 14 September 1984. The purpose of the meeting was to review and discuss the fundamental principles of nuclear third party liability, the role of the insurance market, coverage of risk and the concept of nuclear damage as well as a number of new questions raised by the technical evolution in the nuclear field.
The proceedings of the symposium contain the full texts, in English or French, of the papers presented, the panel discussions and the general discussions following presentation of the papers.
The symposium was held in Monaco on 7-11 October 1968. It discussed the third party liability rules deriving from maritime and nuclear conventions, as well as the practical positions as regards the maritime carriage of nuclear substances and their conditions of insurance, in order to review the various questions raised by the application of the legal system. Practical measures were also discussed with a view to improving or even completing the legal system applicable to such carriage, and facilitating the insurance thereof.
The proceedings of the symposium include a synoptic report on the problems dealt with in the papers and during the discussions.