Edited by Stephen Tully
Chapter 64: International Atomic Energy Agency: Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, 1963
Commentary: The Convention (IAEA Doc INFCIRC/500 (1996), entry into force 1977) establishes the liability of operators for nuclear damage. The extracts below derive from the consolidated text of the Convention as amended by a 1997 Protocol: IAEA Doc INFCIRC/566 (1998). The Protocol provides for coastal State jurisdiction, limits operator liability at no less than 300 million special drawing rights (SDRs) and extends the definition of nuclear damage, the geographical scope of the Convention and the period in which to recover claims. Article VD contemplates governments amending the liability limits of Article V in the light of the risk of damage resulting from nuclear incidents, changes in monetary value or the capacity of insurance markets. The nature, form and extent of compensation are governed by national law and priority in the equitable distribution thereof is given to claims in respect of loss of life or personal injury (Article VIII). Jurisdiction rests with the courts of the State where the nuclear incident occurred (Article XI). See further, IAEA (1990), ‘General Conference Resolution on a Code of Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste’, IAEA Doc GC(34)/RES/530; www.iaea.org. On the liability of nuclear operators, see Duke Power Co v Carolina Environmental Study Group Inc 438 US 59 (1978); Merlin v British Nuclear Fuels Ltd  3 All ER 711; Blue Circle Industries PLC v Ministry of Defence  3 All ER 385. Article I 1. For the purposes of this Convention: a) ‘Person’ means any individual, partnership, any private...
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