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2008 | 91 | 3 | 190-215

Article title

LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE NUCLEAR LIABILITY (Pravna uprava zodpovednosti za skodu sposobenu jadrovou nehodou)


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Nuclear related activities create risk of a specific character. The detrimental effects of a nuclear accident do not stop at State borders, they may extend to other regions far beyond the territory of the accident State. There may be damage to individuals, to property and to the environment in several states. Even in situations for which the highest standard of safety has been achieved, the occurence of nuclear or radiological accidents cannot be completely ecluded. Consequently, it was recognised that the public needed to be assured of sufficient protection against the potential magnitude and peculiarity of risks arising from nuclear energy production and utilisation. Secondly, it was also recognised that the public was not the only entity in need of protection: fear of financially debilitating liability claims that might be instituted by innocent victims following a nuclear accident was inhibing investment in the construction of new power plants by potential owners, builders, and suppliers of equipment, services and technology. All were concerned that such claims, if successfull, could place them in a bankrupcy. Parellely, nuclear power was viewed as a possible limitless source of indigenously produced energy that would enable their economies to grow and prosper rapidly. Accomplishing these objectives meant setting aside the application of the rules of conventional Civil Law (Tort Law) as laid down in the Civil Code. Those rules, while appropriate for conventional risks, were not deemed compatible with nuclear ones. As reaction, the following international liability conventions have been concluded: -The Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy 1960; Vienna - Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage 1963. The Vienna and Paris Conventions establish comprehensive and almost identical regimes for civil liability for nuclear damage. A number of basic principles were laid down in these conventions, replacing the rules of the ordinary Tort Law. Those basic principles include: -Strick Liability; - Exclusive Liability; - Exonerations from the liability; - Limitation of liability in amount; - Congruence of the liability and coverage. After the Chernobyl Nuclear Incident, the legislators became painfully aware of the need to expand the coverage of the liability conventions as much as possible. Consequently, following conventions have been concluded: - Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention 1988; - Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, VC Protocol 1997; - Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, Supplementary Compensation Convention 1997; - The Protocol to Amend the Paris Convention 2004


  • Jakub Handrlica, Pravnicka fakulta UK, Namestie Curieovych 7, 116 40 Praha 1, Czech Republic, http:www.pravnyobzor.sk


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