UAE Issues Nuclear Liability Law

Abu Dhabi: His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, has issued Federal Law by Decree No 4 of 2012, Concerning Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.

Explanation of the Law was made today by Hamad al Kaabi, the UAE’s permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Special Representative for International Nuclear Cooperation, during a press conference held at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

“This Law was drafted in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage as amended by the 1997 Protocol, which the UAE acceded to in August 2012,” said Hamad Al Kaabi.

The newly issued Federal Law aims to regulate the provisions and determine the scope of the civil liability and compensation for Nuclear Damage that could occur as a result of a nuclear accident. It determines the financial security that the Operator must maintain and further elaborates upon the implementation of the 1997 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.

Under the new Federal Law by Decree the operator of a nuclear facility is solely and exclusively liable for damages arising from a nuclear incident as defined in the 1997 Vienna Convention. The operator’s liability under this Federal Law by Decree is set not to exceed 450 million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which is equivalent to roughly AED 2.5 billion.

The provisions of the law are in line with UAE international obligations and best international practices. The text and provisions of this law have been under consultation and reviewed by the IAEA Legal experts to ensure its consistency with IAEA guidance and relevant international obligations.

Furthermore, FANR will be the competent authority, which will implement this Law by Decree including issuing rules and regulations in its area of competence.

“The establishment of such a robust nuclear liability regime is another step forward of the UAE Government’s responsible approach to develop a solid regulatory framework for the peaceful nuclear energy programme,” said Hamad Al Kaabi.

“This new liability regime provides a clear and predictable process for the public and nuclear industry to deal with compensation for damages that may arise in the case of a nuclear accident.

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