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What are the salient features of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010? Examine the grounds on which the Act has been criticized and its implications on India’s nuclear policy.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

4. What are the salient features of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010? Examine the grounds on which the Act has been criticized and its implications on India’s nuclear policy. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Two years after the French energy company Electricite de France (EDF) submitted its techno-commercial offer for the construction of six nuclear power reactors in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur, talks between Indian and French officials over several issues, including liability, have not resulted in any breakthrough yet.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the features of CLND act, 2010 and its criticisms.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about aims and objectives of CLND act, 2010.

Body:

First, write about the major provisions of CLND act – suppliers liable for damages caused by a nuclear incident. It features a strict liability clause, channelling of liability claims through the operator, and a maximum liability cap of Rs. 1,500 crores etc.

Next, write about the major criticisms it has faced – low cap on liability, the burden placed on operators, and the liability of foreign suppliers etc.

Next, write about the various measures that are needed to address the criticism.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.