IRDA set to lay norms to provide cover for nuclear accidents

"We are awaiting the Nuclear Bill becoming a law. Then we would provide the framework for providing insurance cover for nuclear accidents," Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Chairman J Hari Narayan told PTI.

He further said that insurance companies are keen to provide cover in case of nuclear accidents, if there is demand from the policyholders."Insurance companies would be happy in providing cover for nuclear accidents, if the customers show interest," Hari Narayan added.

Paving the way for India to have nuclear commerce with the world, Parliament in the monsoon session adopted a Nuclear Liability Bill. The bill now awaits for the presidential assent to become a law.

The bill, which is crucial for operationalisation of India's civil nuclear deals with the US and other countries, was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 25.

Meanwhile, the US State Department had said it will look to India to see what "changes" can be made in the Nuclear Liability Bill just passed by Parliament in the wake of concerns over making suppliers of equipment also liable in the event of a nuclear accident.
The IRDA has been exploring the possibilities for insurance cover from a long time and was talking to insurers for exploring whether cover to liabilities arising out of nuclear accidents could be provided.

Re-insurer General Insurance Corporation (GIC) has been working on the feasibility to provide insurance protection to such accidents.According to the US-India Business Council (USIBC) the Indo-US nuclear deal could open up investment opportunities to the tune of USD 500 billion over the next decade.As of now, nuclear power accounts for just three per cent share of the total power produced in India from different sources.
However, by 2020 this source is expected to provide 20,000 MW of power, against little over four thousand MW currently.

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