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India signing the CSC (Convention on Supplementary Compensation) was pushed for by the US-India Business Council when India-American Richard Verma was their lobbyist. It finally was ratified a little over a year after Verma became US Ambassador to India.
More details about Verma here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/westinghouse-is-japanese-toshiba-not-american-for-16-years/
“India ratified the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) in February 2016, and the U.S. government and the GOI have agreed that India’s 2010 domestic Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) is compatible with the CSC. Some U.S. suppliers, however, still have concerns about the interpretation of the CLND and its channeling of liability exclusively to the operator. To alleviate supplier concerns, India has created an insurance pool for nuclear operators in India and for foreign suppliers with a liability cap of 15 billion Indian Rupees ($226 million).”
The nuclear operator insurance pool cap ($226 million) created by India is only a fraction of a percent (0.12%) of the $188 billion now estimated to be the official cost of Fukushima cleanup.
“Convention on Supplementary Compensation on Nuclear Safety does not protect you
Blogpost by Hozefa Merchant – 15 April, 2015 at 18:062 comments
The Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) is an international nuclear liability regime governed by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The convention, signed in 1997, but so far not in force for lack of interest, channels and pins absolute liability onto the operators of the nuclear power plant. In addition, it also acts as a pool from where signatory countries can draw funds if necessary in case of a nuclear accident. With Japan signing and ratifying CSC in January this year, it came into force on 15 April.
Many nuclear reactor and equipment supplying companies would want you to believe that the sole purpose of CSC is to help you receive your compensation quickly and speedily after you are hit by a nuclear accident. However, this is not true. The CSC was not created to protect your interest and your rights, but in fact it was created to shield multibillion dollar nuclear reactor manufactures and suppliers from their responsibilities. These companies don’t want to be held liable for damages caused due to an accident at any of their inherently dangerous nuclear plants and hence hide behind the protective shield of CSC.
In the 1980s, India did not have any law to deal with liability and damages caused by industrial accidents and then was hit by the Bhopal catastrophe. Many countries around the world including the US, did not have such a law either. However immediately after the gas leak tragedy in Bhopal, Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, ordered an inquiry. As a direct consequence of Mr. Waxman’s actions, there is a law in place that protects citizens of the US from such chemical leaks.
India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) bill was tabled in the parliament in 2010, the same year in which a Bhopal court convicted 7 union carbide officials for causing death due to negligence. Since the verdict came more than 25 years after the gas tragedy, it aroused national and international interest. 2010 was also the same year when an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused the world’s largest oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Needless to say that these events influenced the CLND to a great deal and this is how clause 17 was incorporated in the Act.
Clause 17, in simple language, states that the operator shall have the right to sue the supplier if the accident was the fault of a manufacturing defect. In other words, it states that if a GE Hitachi plant in India were to explode due to manufacturing or design defect, the Indian nuclear operator would have the right to sue GE Hitachi for damages. Wouldn’t you agree that this clause is a fair one to have?
Companies such as French Areva and EdF, US’s Westinghouse,”[Westinghouse is owned by Japan’s Toshiba] “Japan’s GE Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi, Canada’s SNC Lavalle / AECL and Russia’s Rosatom don’t think it’s fair to allow operators this right to recourse. They say that India should change its law in accordance with CSC. These companies have been pressurizing the Indian Government since the time Indian Parliament enacted the law. Foreign diplomats and dignitaries such as Canadian Consul General Richard Bale openly criticised India and asked the Government to “tweak the liability law”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Former French President Sarkozy asked India to follow the international liability regimes. A senior official from the Obama administration asked “India to ensure that its nuclear liability regime conforms with the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage”.
Just few months after India passed its nuclear liability law, on 11th of March 2011, Japan suffered a triple meltdown nuclear disaster at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. A Japanese Government’s investigation report stated that negligence as well as fault in design was what caused Fukushima nuclear disaster and not the earthquake or the tsunami. The cost of Fukushima crossed $100 billion but since Japan did not have a nuclear liability law, it was the taxpayers who’ve had to pay, and many of the victims still suffer under inadequate compensation. Whereas GE, Hitachi and Toshiba, the companies that designed and built the Fukushima reactors have not had to stand up and pay for their responsibility.
Just over a year after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the President & CEO of GE Hitachi Canada wrote to the Canadian authority reviewing consultations for a new nuclear liability law in Canada, making arguments why nuclear suppliers should be indemnified from liability. In his letter dated May 28 2012, he wrote, “In the event of a nuclear accident involving one of Canada’s reactors – all of which are along the US border – there would likely be a flurry of legal actions against several parties, particularly those with deep pockets like GEH Canada”. Notice the use of word “deep pockets” here.
He further wrote, “That is exactly what happened in 1984 when an accident at a chemical plant in Bhopal, India, resulted in multiple lawsuits in US courts against Union Carbide, the parent of the Indian company where the accident occurred”.
Mr. Mason used Bhopal as an example to enforce his statement about companies with “deep pockets”. In just a few words, Mr. Mason discredited the legitimate demands of the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy.
Being one of the worst industrial disasters of our time, Bhopal is the very reason why we should have supplier liability. To date, GE Hitachi also has to apologize yet for its role in the Fukushima catastrophe.
After having witnessed the aftermath of Bhopal gas tragedy rather closely, I find Mr. Mason’s statement very offensive. But when the stakes are so high, decisions can’t be emotionally driven. It has to be logical and fair. If the fault is theirs then the responsibility should be theirs too. The only fair thing to do is to protect supplier liability in India and ensure other countries follow suit.
(Greenpeace Condemns the New International Nuclear Liability Convention)
Hozefa Merchant works as nuclear analyst for Greenpeace India.“. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/convention-on-supplementary-compensation-on-n/blog/52618/ (Emphasis our own. We added the note in brackets that Westinghouse has long been a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba. Westinghouse has not been American for almost 20 years. Westinghouse is currently 90% Japanese (87% Toshiba; 3% IHI;) and 10% Kazakstan State owned (KazAtomProm). Before that it belonged to British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL). GE Nuclear is, however, a GE-Hitachi partnership.
The CSC went into force initially with Japan signing on and then India. US Dept. Sec. of Energy, Ernst Moniz, whose wife is Japanese, had made mention of allowing it to be retroactive, hence helping to pay for Fukushima clean-up. But, it is unknown if this is the case and does not appear to be the case. The CSC is supposed to make the US liable for picking up part of the cost of a nuclear disaster in these countries. And, to a lesser extent, India and Japan liable for US accidents. It is supposed to be based on installed capacity so that the US and Japan would pay the most, above a base amount, in the event of a nuclear disaster in any member country. However, this cap may allow the US and Japan to evade liability, it’s not really clear.
The CSC is an extremely bad deal for India, since they apparently lost the right to sue, and may be a bad deal for America. It is a bad deal for honest vendors. It is a bad deal for Japan-except for their nuclear and uranium vendors, and is a bad deal for the smaller countries who have signed onto this shoddy deal (e.g. Morocco, Romania, UAE, Argentina).
It’s also a bad deal for India since they may have to pay some part of the accidents in these other countries.
The only beneficiaries of this Convention are those selling defective nuclear equipment(includes fuel), as Rosatom and/or its affiliate companies, have apparently done in India at Koodankulam. Since Rosatom and Areva are not members of the CSC they would apparently pay nothing for disasters caused by their defective equipment.
“Japan nearly doubles Fukushima disaster-related cost to $188 billion
Posted:Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:52:41 -0500
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said on Friday it has nearly doubled its projections for costs related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, including decommissioning and compensation, to 21.5 trillion yen ($188.40 billion).” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/ELlxKdF6eBQ/us-tepco-fukushima-costs-idUSKBN13Y047
$226,000,000/$188,000,000,000 is 0.12%
In the US: “Currently, owners of nuclear power plants pay an annual premium for $375 million in private insurance for offsite liability coverage for each reactor site (not per reactor). This primary, or first tier, insurance is supplemented by a second tier. In the event a nuclear accident causes damages in excess of $375 million, each licensee would be assessed a prorated share of the excess, up to $121.255 million per reactor. With 104 reactors currently in the insurance pool, i this secondary tier of funds contains about $12.6 billion. If 15 percent of these funds are expended, prioritization of the remaining amount would be left to a federal district court. If the second tier is depleted, Congress is committed to determine whether additional disaster relief is required”
The US NRC has just announced a 20% increase from $375 million to $450 million, still less than a quarter of a percent of the official cost of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster (0.24%).
Verma mentions the Civil Nuclear sector at around 15 min 18 sec: http://youtu.be/z2kx7McncKk
The CSC is one of many things which prove that the nuclear industry cannot survive in an environment of Free Enterprise and Competition. Those who produce good equipment are punished along with those producing bad equipment. If this is capitalism, then the main source of capital in it appears to be that from the public purse. Areva and Rosatom are State Capitalist entities but the rest?