India's State-Run Reinsurer May Offer Nuclear Liability Coverage

India's State-Run Reinsurer May Offer Nuclear Liability Coverage

India is working to set up an insurance pool to indemnify global nuclear suppliers against liability in the case of a nuclear accident, in a bid to resolve concerns of suppliers over exposure to risk.

The 2010 nuclear liability law discouraged Western companies and strained U.S.-India relations as companies said that the law deviated from international standards that put the responsibility on the operator to ensure safety. Even Indian suppliers hesitated  to sell equipment until the law was amended or they could be sure they were indemnified against any liabilities. “We are working fast to address the concerns of suppliers. We are working on a solution with the insurance companies,” R. K. Sinha, chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, told Reuters.

State-run reinsurer GIC Re is working on a proposal to build a “nuclear insurance pool” that would indemnify the third-party suppliers against liabilities they would face in the case of an accident, where either the contracted companies bought the insurance and recovered the cost by charging more for their services, or the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) would take out insurance on behalf of suppliers.

Sinha said New Delhi believed the insurance plan was the best option given how tricky changing the law would prove, and that the proposal should be ready within the next two months.


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