‘N-liability rules best in current situation’

New Delhi: Backing the nuclear liability rules notified by the government, former Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar on Wednesday said the measures have been debated enough and it was time the industry moved on with it.

"This has been debated enough and we must call an end to it," he told reporters here when asked whether he was satisfied with the provisions of the rules.

Kakodkar, a key player in the signing of the India-US civil nuclear agreement, had earlier expressed displeasure over the operators right to recourse provision of the Civil Liability for the Nuclear Damage Act passed by Parliament last year.

"In these circumstances this is the best way," he said of the nuclear liability rules which give operators the right to seek compensation from suppliers for a limited period of five years and not for the entire lifetime of a reactor.

Kakodkar pointed out that safety issues have to be addressed at every stage of building of a nuclear plant.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has to grant its clearance to every aspect of the design of the nuclear plant before the construction moves on to the next stage.

A benefit of the rules is that the suppliers will also ensure quality of the components they provide for nuclear power plants, he said.

Experts feel that more than foreign suppliers, domestic industry will be affected by the rules and allow the operator, in this case NPCIL, to seek damages from manufacturers of components.

Assocham has said India will have the toughest liability regime and hoped that national and international suppliers agree as rules have to imbibe the spirit of the Act.