‘Relaxation in n-liability necessary to attract suppliers’


New Delhi : The liabilities notified in case of a nuclear accident should be relaxed so that the government can receive reasonable offers from foreign suppliers for equipment, M.R. Srinivasan, ex-chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), said Thursday.

Support TwoCircles

Speaking at the Green Power 7 Conference here, Srinivasan said that nuclear power is important for India’s energy future and all nuclear power plants are safe.

“For decades we didn’t have any legislation for reactors owned by the government. But a decade back we decided to have this legislation,” said Srinivasan, who is also a former member of the Planning Commission.

“In the civil nuclear bill passed by the parliament in 2010, it was decided to provide the right of recourse to the (plant) operator, which allows taking action against the supplier. But we also have to see that the supplier is in a position to make a reasonable offer for equipment and an indefinite risk or proportion makes this difficult,” he said.

As per the rules notified Nov 11 under the Civil Nuclear Liability Act, the operator’s right to claim damages from a foreign supplier has been limited to the duration of the initial licence period or the product liability period, whichever is longer.

The government has been drawing flak from opposition parties for this, saying the government acted under the US pressure.

Srinivasan said that India will miss its deadline to generate 15,000 MW of nuclear energy by 2020 because of issues like protests by local people and difficulties in land acquisition.