Today's Paper

Will liability law apply to Kudankulam 3&4 units?

The Kudankulam nuclear plant at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.— File Photo: A. Shaikmohideen  

As the much-delayed Kudankulam atomic power project in Tamil Nadu moves towards commissioning, questions have arisen over the applicability of the nuclear liability law on the subsequent units at the same site.

The agreement to set up nuclear plants at Kudankulam was signed with Russia over a decade ago when the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act was not enacted.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought the views of the Law and the External Affairs Ministries on the applicability of the liability law to units 3 and 4, for which Russia has agreed to give India a soft loan of $ 3.5 billion.

Sources said the government wanted clarity on the applicability of the law before taking a final decision to ensure unambiguity in the future while dealing with the issue with other countries.

“The agreements with Russia were signed over a decade ago when the liability law was not in place. Now a decision has to be taken as we move ahead with units 3 and 4,” a source said.

India had signed agreements with France and the U.S. for setting up nuclear plants in the country. An offer made by South Korea to set up plants in India was also under examination.

The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill was passed by Parliament in 2010 which gives the nuclear operator a right to demand compensation from a supplier in case faulty equipment leads to a mishap at the plant. — PTI