Govt sets up Rs 1,500 cr nuclear insurance pool
New Delhi: The Union government has launched an insurance pool to the tune of Rs.1,500 crore that is mandatory under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) in a bid to offset financial burden of foreign nuclear suppliers.
The announcement was on Saturday made by minister of state in the department of atomic energy Jitendra Singh. Singh noticed that several long-pending projects such as the Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna (GHAVP) are now expected to move forward after the setting up of the pool.
Clauses in the CLND Act, which give the operator the right to recourse and allow it to sue the suppliers in case of any accident were seen as being a major hindrance to the growth of the nuclear industry. These concerns led to the formation of the Indian nuclear insurance pool.
R.K. Sinha, secretary in the department of atomic energy, said this would be a solution for suppliers' concerns about liability from nuclear risks. Under the Rs.1,500 crore pool, set up by General Insurance Corp. of India (GIC Re) and 11 other non-life insurers, including New India, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and United India Insurance from the public sector and several other private insurance companies, the policies that will be offered are a nuclear operators' liability insurance policy and a nuclear suppliers' special contingency (against right to recourse) insurance policy.
Y. Ramulu, general manager of General Insurance Corp. (GIC), the fund operator, said, “This will address the concern of the suppliers like that of the Gorakhpur Haryana project and also of foreign players. Now we have a policy for the entire nuclear industry of the country,” he said, adding that foreign contribution “would not result in foreign inspector inspecting the plants”.
Highlighting “another aspect” of the move, Singh said that it would also help in bringing north Indian states into the fold of the nuclear industry. “This would give the atomic energy programme a pan-Indian image.” Singh, who is also the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office, said the pool would help the government in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “vision of tripling energy generation from nuclear sector in the next five years”.