NPC to hire intl law firms to explain N-bill clauses to US

The Nuclear Power Corporation will engage international law firms to explain certain clauses of the recently passed Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, for the US.

Mumbai: The Nuclear Power Corporation will
engage international law firms to explain certain clauses of
the recently passed Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill,
for the US, ahead of President Barack Obama`s visit to India,
a senior NPCIL official said Tuesday.

India has signed an agreement with the United States to
set up reactors in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, but both the
countries have not yet reached a stage of serious technical
design discussions. That is because the US government has
apprehensions on some aspects of the Bill relating to
unlimited liability, Jagdeep Ghai, Director (Finance) NPCIL,
told reporters here.

"The US has perhaps not interpreted the law properly.
Russia and France (who have signed the bilateral civil nuclear
agreement) have not reacted in the same manner. Therefore,
these law firms will be able to explain (clauses) to the US in
their parlance," Ghai said.

"We are hopeful that their doubts and fears will be put
to rest and things will fall in place, and serious discussions
will commence," he said.

In wake of the passage of the Bill, the Department of
Atomic Energy (DAE) is currently engaged in drafting rules to
the Bill that will be placed in the Parliament session, set to
begin on November 9. President Obama is slated to visit India
early next month.

As for the liability in case of a nuclear accident, NPCIL
has decided to take an insurance policy for turbine
generators, which is the conventional portion of the plant.

In case of civilian damages, the Corporation has decided
to take the financial security route, Ghai said.

"With Rs 12,000 crore as surplus, a fund will be set up
where the Corporation will apportion Rs 1,500 crore that they
will be liable to pay in case of an accident. Insurance
companies will want to check the plant, something we cannot
allow," he said.

PTI

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