Russia asks India to clarify n-liability law

December 17th, 2010 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) Ahead of President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit here, Russia Friday said it was upbeat about building 14-16 nuclear reactors in India over the next few years, but asked New Delhi to bring its civilian nuclear liability legislation in line with global conventions.”We have not received yet an explanation from the Indian side as to how it will work. So far we are working on the basis of agreements that we had signed before this bill was passed,” Russian ambassador Alexander Kadakin told reporters here ahead of Medvedev’s two-day visit that begins late Monday night.

“So far we do not think it will be an impediment. But we do think India will adhere to the international agreements it has signed. International agreements take supremacy over domestic laws,” he said.

The envoy underlined that the civil nuclear liability legislation will not be “a hurdle to expanding civil nuclear cooperation” and added that Russia was looking to build 14-16 nuclear reactors in India over the long term.

In October, India signed the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) to allay concerns of foreign suppliers, including the US.

India’s nuclear liability legislation caps the operator’s liability at Rs.1,500 crore ($331 million) and gives the operator the right to seek damages from suppliers if there is an accident.

The convention will give India access to a global fund for compensation in case of a nuclear accident with trans-national implications. The CSC, after it enters into force, would establish a uniform global legal regime for compensation to victims in the event of a nuclear accident.

The convention also sets parameters on a nuclear operatorĀ“s financial liability, time limits governing possible legal action, requires that nuclear operators maintain insurance or other financial security measures and provides for a single competent court to hear claims.

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