New Delhi, Jun 13: The government has launched an insurance pool to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore which is mandatory under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) in a bid to offset financial burden of foreign nuclear suppliers.
This was announced by Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh here today, noting that several projects such as the long-pending Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna (GHAVP) that were held up in its absence, are now expected to move forward after 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 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 Corporation 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 apart from private insurance companies, policies offered will be a nuclear operators liability insurance policy and a nuclear suppliers' special contingency (against right to recourse) insurance policy.
Y Ramulu, General Manager of of General Insurance Corporation (GIC), the fund operator, told PTI that the "shortfall of Rs 600 crore" was met when a domestic insurance company chipped in with Rs 100 crore more.
"Remaining gap of (Rs 500 crore) was filled in by the British Nuclear Insurance Pool," he 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". "The GHAVP was supposed to be a pressurised heavy water reactor which was sanctioned by the previous govt.
It had met with some problems there were problems of tenders not getting matured due to absence of an insurance pool. The launch of the pool would now enable the concerned parties to come forward for the project," Singh said.
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".