Specifically, the discussion will be based on three major issues, said a member of NLA. The main focus is on Nuclear energy projects and private sector participation; Regulatory and Stakeholder engagement in nuclear energy projects and Nuclear Liability and Insurance: impact on commercial viability.
Judges of Bombay High Court; officers of Atomic Energy Commission; senior counsels from the Bombay Bar Association; senior legal officers of nuclear energy industries from India and abroad are speakers.
Nuclear energy is posed for a major expansion in India. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), subsequent to the Nuclear Suppliers Group‘s wavier, has projected an ambitious target from the current 4GW to 30 GW by 2020 and 60 GW by 2032. This expansion is planned through major
imports of high capacity nuclear reactors from supplier countries like Russia, France, US and others. And also through aggressive expansion of indigenous reactors.
In respect to imported reactors, the DAE has already earmarked sites for Joint Venture partnerships between NPCIL and other vendors. Many countries are expected to participate in this planned expansion. Importantly, while there are significant business opportunities for both Indian and
foreign companies in the nuclear energy sector, such large-scale projects have a risk dimension as well, which increases the need for it to be supported by an adequate legal and regulatory regime, a NLA release said..
The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act enacted in 2010 with the clear message that liability from nuclear damage will have to be met by every party in the business chain, is viewed as a strong law from India. However, the law has seen the resistance from both supplier countries for being too far-reaching and not exactly in tune with international treaties; whereas domestically some have criticised it as being too weak in some respects, a lawyer-member from NLA said. The subsequent rules that were formulated seemed to have created further legal confusion on its interpretation. As a result, foreign suppliers are delaying finalising inter-government agreements. Locally, the proposed expansion is already witnessing implementational hurdles like local acceptability, land acquisition, environmental issues, perceived regulatory ineffectiveness and more, NLA believes. To strengthen the regulatory framework, the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011, is currently been debated in the Parliament.
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