ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF NUCLEAR POWER: LAW AND POLICY MEASURES IN INDIA

Main Article Content

Ajay Kumar Singh
Nalnish Chandr Singha

Keywords

nuclear, environment, pollution, protection, judiciary.

Abstract

Healthy and clean environment is a fundamental right in India, simultaneously in modern time energy requirements are increasing. It is required that dependency on traditional source of energy should be decreased because of environmental and other reasons. Nuclear energy undoubtedly a present day hope for the energy requirement due to rich and eco-friendly source of energy. But this source also contains some danger for human health and wellbeing.It is a basic question before every nation that what safety and regulatory measures should be adopted to secure the safe use of nuclear energy. This article is an attempt to analyse the impact radiations caused by nuclear accidents on human health and environment. It also analyse the international regulatory measures and national legal and policy measures, adopted to combat the nuclear disaster. The article enumerates the liability issue arise due to the enactment of new law in 2010, it analyse the controversy and provide concluding remarks on the issue.
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References

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9. AIR 1987 SC 1792.

10. (2004) 1 JT 152: (2004) 2 SCC 476.

11. AIR 1960 SC 554 (also see Krishna Mohan (P) Ltd. v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi, JT 2003 (6) SC 130: (2003) 7 SCC 151).

12. JT 1994 (4) SC 438 : (1995) Supp (1) SCC 53.

13. sec. 3. (1) of The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010.

14. sec. 3. (2) of The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010.

15. Sec. 4. (1) The operator of the nuclear installation shall be liable for nuclear damage caused by a nuclear incident -
(a). in that nuclear installation; or
(b). involving nuclear material coming from, or originating in, that nuclear installation and occurring before -
(i). the liability for nuclear incident involving such nuclear material has been assumed, pursuant to a written agreement, by another operator; or
(ii). another operator has taken charge of such nuclear material; or
(iii). the person duly authorised to operate a nuclear reactor has taken charge of the nuclear material intended to be used in that reactor with which means of transport is equipped for use as a source of power, whether for propulsion thereof or for any other purpose; or
(iv). such nuclear material has been unloaded from the means of transport by which it was sent to a person within the territory of a foreign State; or
(c). (c) involving nuclear material sent to that nuclear installation and occurring after-
(i) the liability for nuclear incident involving such nuclear material has been transferred to that operator, pursuant to a written agreement, by the operator of another nuclear installation; or
(ii) that operator has taken charge of such nuclear material; or
(iii) that operator has taken charge of such nuclear material from a person operating a nuclear reactor with which a means of transport is equipped for use as a source of power, whether for propulsion thereof or for any other purpose; or
(iv) such nuclear material has been loaded, with the written consent of that operator, on the means of transport by which it is to be carried from the territory of a foreign State.
(2) Where more than one operator is liable for nuclear damage, the liability of the operators so involved shall, in so far as the damage attributable to each operator is not separable, be joint and several:
Provided that the total liability of such operators shall not exceed the extent of liability specified under sub-section (2) of section 6.
(3) Where several nuclear installations of one and the same operator are involved in a nuclear incident, such operator shall, in respect of each such nuclear installation, be liable to the extent of liability specified under sub-section (2) of section 6.
(4) The liability of the operator of the nuclear installation shall be strict and shall be based on the principle of no-fault liability.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this section,-
(a) where nuclear damage is caused by a nuclear incident occurring in a nuclear installation on account of temporary storage of material- in-transit in such installation, the person responsible for transit of such material shall be deemed to be the operator;
(b) where a nuclear damage is caused as a result of nuclear incident during the transportation' of nuclear material, the consignor shall be deemed to be the operator;
(c) where any written agreement has been entered into between the consignor and the consignee or, as the case may be, the consignor and the carrier of nuclear material, the person liable for any nuclear damage under such agreement shall be deemed to be the operator;
(d) where both nuclear damage and damage other than nuclear damage have been caused by a nuclear incident or, jointly by a nuclear incident and one or more other occurrences, such other damage shall, to the extent it is not separable from the nuclear damage, be deemed to be a nuclear damage caused by such nuclear incident.

16. Sec. 6. (1) The maximum amount of liability in respect of each nuclear incident shall be the rupee equivalent of three hundred million Special Drawing Rights or such higher amount as the Central Government may specify by notification:
Provided that the Central Government may take additional measures, where necessary, if the compensation to be awarded under this Act exceeds the amount specified under this sub-section.
(2) The liability of an operator for each nuclear incident shall be-
(a) in respect of nuclear reactors having thermal power equal to or above ten MW, rupees one thousand five hundred crores;
(b) in respect of spent fuel reprocessing plants, rupees three hundred crores;
(c) in respect ofthe research reactors having thermal power below ten MW, fuel cycle facilities other than spent fuel reprocessing plants and transportation of nuclear materials, rupees one hundred crores:
Provided that the Central Government may review the amount of operator's liability from time to time and specify, by notification, a higher amount under this sub-section:
Provided further that the amount of liability shall not include any interest or cost of proceedings.

17. Sec. 7. (1)The Central Government shall be liable for nuclear damage in respect of a nuclear incident,-
(a) where the liability exceeds the amount of liability of an operator specified under sub-section (2) of section 6, to the extent such liability exceeds such liability of the operator;
(b) occurring in a nuclear installation owned by it; and
(c) occurring on account of causes specified in clauses (i) and (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 5:
Provided that the Central Government may, by notification, assume full liability for a nuclear installation not operated by it if it is of the opinion that it is necessary in public interest.