Insuring India's N-Plants : Nuclear Insurance Policy
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has cleared a long-delayed insurance policy declared by the New India Assurance (NIA) for all 21 reactors, marking a significant leap in the country’s ambitious plans to become one of the world’s top nuclear power generators.
The insurance policy was cleared by the board of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) under the India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP), set up in June 2015 to address liability issues for both operators and suppliers.
Nuclear insurance policy will attract foreign nuclear plant and technology suppliers both from the US and European countries and mainly those which are long awaiting the country's formal declaration of insurance in this sector.
India plans to build around 60 nuclear reactors with an aim to produce 63,000 megawatts (MW) of power by 2032, from 5,780 MW at present, as part of a broader push to move away from fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
It is very sad that India which aspires for the membership global nuclear fraternity like Nuclear Suppliers Group and had its first nuclear power plant (Tarapur Atomic Power Station ) way back in 1960s, till date has no nuclear insurance for both operators and suppliers.
Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010 :
It was in 2010, that India had come up with its first law on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLNDA) after gruesome discussion among the opposition parties in Parliament.
On 12th June, 2015, General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC-Re), along with several other Indian Insurance Companies launched the India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) with a capacity of Rs.1500 crore to provide insurance to cover the liability as prescribed under Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010 and pave the way for Indian as well as foreign suppliers to participate in the Indian Nuclear Power Projects.
New Indian Assurance will issue the policy and manage the cover for the operators and suppliers, on behalf of all direct insurance companies participating in the pool.
It will first cover the hot zones for all the existing plants and will subsequently launch a separate product to specifically cover the risks of the suppliers under Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010.
Right time to boost Nuclear Power
It is the right time when Indian Government should step up it's efforts to enhance nuclear power generating capacity from the current bare minimum. The Nuclear energy which is a stable and sustained source of power will boost country's mega projects in infrastructure and development sectors.
It is in the interest of India to build more nuclear reactors to bridge the gap of acute power crunch across the country and at the same time nuclear power would also lessen the dependence on fossil fuels and help reducing Greenhouse emissions.
Conclusion : The recent incident of heavy water leakage at the Kakrapara Atomic Power Station has shaped the NIP and it has come towards the implementation stage. India which is which is reshaping its global power status must see that another Bhopal Gas tragedy never recur.