Canada set to raise liability for nuclear operators from $75 million to $1 billion

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Bruce Nuclear Power - Canada

Officials in Canada are preparing to introduce new legislation what would increase the liability for civilian damages for nuclear operators from $75 million to $1 billion.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver will introduce the new nuclear safety act today in the Commons.

The new proposal would establish a claims tribunal to speed up damage claims in the wake of a potential nuclear accident, expand the range of damages that can be claimed, and would lengthen the amount of time a person could make a claim for latent illnesses from 10 years to 30 years.

Currently, Canada’s nuclear industry generates some $5 billion dollars per year in electricity, and if the legislation is approved would have to find $500 million in insurance, but would be allowed to use other forms of financial security for the remaining $500 million.  There is concern that the insurance premiums necessary to cover potential claims filed 10 to 30 years after an accident would make insuring those claims impossible without some additional form of government support.

The new legislation will allow Canada to ratify the international convention on nuclear liability that it signed in 2013.

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6 Comments

  1. Well, i guess this catches us up to 1979, when the Three Mile Island partial meltdown in the US cost $1 billion in clean up and $2.4 billion in property.damage. Of course the cost associated with the Fukushima triple meltdown is exceeding $250 billion. Only in nuclear accounting can such a blatant disregard for reality permit us to lie to ourselves in this way.

  2. I hope that no plant parts are allowed to be used as assets for insurance. These changes should go in effect fort all plants with out exception for a plants contract already in force.

  3. Actually, the cost is INFINITE since it is impossible to really cleanup radioisotopes…all they can do is move them around for 250,000 years.

  4. This is just at the same time that the OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) has just purchased controlling interest in the Bruce Nuclear Power plant. This is a big problem for working people in Ontario. Now even if there are no accidents there the workers pension plan is responsible for retiring this old plant.

  5. I don’t see how this changes anything. Most modern corporations don’t really have money. They run on debt, and as long as they are able to keep up with it, all is OK. For instance, I’d be Donald Trump doesn’t really own that crappy toupe he wears. It’s likely balled up into some kind of security somewhere. And malcolm’s comment is telling and an little recognized problem (whcih could also be a solution) to some of the public’s worst problems. A pension plan that invests in the same power structure that is willing to cast them off at a moment’s notice? That’s the same thing that happened in the US, pension plans becoming cows for the system that kills them, unions in particular, while they could be investing in a future that doesn’t include those opposing powers. Doesn’t make sense to me that they do, but, then, maybe those who have disdain for unions are correct, that the social background from which unions came is lost upon the current generation of wage earners who just see unions as a way to increase their individual wealth. No matter what, the general public is going to pay for nuclear accidents. There’s simply no way around that. I’d truly love to hear some argument to that reality, but I don’t think it exists outside of the manure pile.

  6. If they were really smart they would make it in the form of a bond and require at least 10 Billion per reactor, that way there would be enough to at least get the cleanup started if something goes BAD…

    Remember that Fukushima is about a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster so even 100 Billion is not nearly enough!

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