Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

Document type:Convention
Category:Multilateral
Subject:Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy
 
FREE EXCERPT

THE CONTRACTING PARTIES,

HAVING RECOGNIZED the desirability of establishing some minimum standards to provide financial protection against damage resulting from certain peaceful uses of nuclear energy,

BELIEVING that a convention on civil liability for nuclear damage would also contribute to the development of friendly relations among nations, irrespective of their differing constitutional and social systems,

HAVE DECIDED to conclude a convention for such purposes, and thereto have agreed as follows -

ARTICLE I.

  1. For the purposes of this Convention -

  2. "Person" means any individual, partnership, any private or public body whether corporate or not, any international organization enjoying legal personality under the law of the Installation State, and any State or any of its constituent sub-divisions.

  3. "National of a Contracting Party" includes a Contracting Party or any of its constituent sub-divisions, a partnership, or any private or public body whether corporate or not established within the territory of a Contracting Party.

  4. "Operator", in relation to a nuclear installation, means the person designated or recognized by the Installation State as the operator of that installation.

  5. "Installation State", in relation to a nuclear installation, means the Contracting Party within whose territory that installation is situated or, if it is not situated within the territory of any State, the Contracting Party by which or under the authority of which the nuclear installation is operated.

  6. "Law of the competent court" means the law of the court having jurisdiction under this Convention, including any rules of such law relating to conflict of laws.

  7. "Nuclear fuel" means any material which is capable of producing energy by a self-sustaining chain process of nuclear fission.

  8. "Radioactive products or waste" means any radioactive material produced in, or any material made radioactive by exposure to the radiation incidental to, the production or utilization of nuclear fuel, but does not include radioisotopes which have reached the final stage of fabrication so as to be usable for any scientific, medical, agricultural, commercial or industrial purpose.

  9. "Nuclear material" means -

  10. nuclear fuel, other than natural uranium and depleted uranium, capable of producing energy by a self-sustaining chain process of nuclear fission outside a nuclear reactor, either alone or in combination with some other material; and

  11. radioactive products or waste.

  12. "Nuclear reactor" means any structure containing nuclear fuel in such an arrangement that a self-sustaining chain process of nuclear fission can occur therein without an additional source of neutrons.

  13. "Nuclear installation" means -

  14. any nuclear reactor other than one with which a means of sea or air transport is equipped for use as a source of power, whether for propulsion thereof or for any other purpose;

  15. any factory using nuclear fuel for the production of nuclear material, or any factory for the processing of nuclear material, including any factory for the re-processing of irradiated nuclear fuel; and

  16. any facility where nuclear material is stored, other than storage incidental to the carriage of such material; provided that the Installation State may determine that several nuclear installations of one operator which are located at the same site shall be considered as a single nuclear installation.

  17. "Nuclear damage" means -

  18. loss of life, any personal injury or any loss of, or damage to, property which arises out of or results from the radioactive properties or a combination of radioactive properties with toxic, explosive or other hazardous properties of nuclear fuel or radioactive products or waste in, or of nuclear material coming from, originating in, or sent to, a nuclear installation;

  19. any other loss or damage so arising or resulting if and to the extent that the law of the competent court so provides; and

  20. if the law of the Installation State so provides, loss of life, any personal injury or any loss of, or damage to, property which arises out of or results from other ionizing radiation emitted by any other source of radiation inside a nuclear installation.

  21. "Nuclear incident" means any occurrence or series of occurrences having the same origin which causes nuclear damage.

  22. An Installation State may, if the small extent of the risks involved so warrants, exclude any small quantities of nuclear material from the application of this Convention, provided that -

  23. maximum limits for the exclusion of such quantities have been established by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency; and

  24. any exclusion by an Installation State is within such established limits.

    The maximum limits shall be reviewed periodically by the Board of Governors.

    ARTICLE II.

  25. The operator of a nuclear installation shall be liable for nuclear damage upon proof that such damage has been caused by a nuclear incident -

  26. in his nuclear installation; or

  27. involving nuclear material coming from or originating in his nuclear installation, and occurring -

  28. before liability with regard to nuclear incidents involving the nuclear material has been assumed, pursuant to the express terms of a contract in writing, by the operator of another nuclear installation;

  29. in the absence of such express terms, before the operator of another nuclear installation has taken charge of the nuclear material; or

  30. where the nuclear material is intended to be used in a nuclear reactor with which a means of transport is equipped for use as a source of power, whether for propulsion thereof or for any other purpose, before the person duly authorized to operate such reactor has taken charge of the nuclear material; but

  31. where the nuclear material has been sent to a person within the territory of a non-Contracting State, before it has been unloaded from the means of transport by which it has arrived in the territory of that non-Contracting State;

  32. involving nuclear material sent to his nuclear installation, and occurring -

  33. after liability with regard to nuclear incidents involving the nuclear material has been assumed by him, pursuant to the express terms of a contract in writing, from the operator of another nuclear installation;

  34. in the absence of such express terms, after he has taken charge of the nuclear material; or

  35. after he has taken charge of the nuclear material from a person operating a nuclear reactor with which a means of transport is equipped for use as a source of power, whether for propulsion thereof or for any other purpose; but

  36. where the nuclear material has, with the written consent of the operator, been sent from a person within the territory of a non-Contracting State, only after it has been loaded on the means of transport by which it is to be carried...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL