People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 30

July 24, 2011


Reject US Demand on Civil Nuclear Liability



The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following statement on July 20, 211.


THE United States continues to exercise pressure on the Indian government to dilute the Civil Nuclear Liability law which was adopted by parliament. This has become evident from the statement made by US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in Delhi asking India to engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that the nuclear liability law “fully conforms” with the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC). The CSC does not provide for suppliers’ liability in the event of a nuclear accident.


The Indian government should reject this suggestion. The IAEA is only a depository for the Convention and cannot judge a law passed by parliament.


The UPA government has been vacillating and seeking to accommodate the US concerns which are primarily the interests of its nuclear industry. The Civil Nuclear Liability Act was passed in parliament after compelling the government to accept section 17(b) which provides for foreign suppliers liability. This national law should prevail over any international convention.


The Civil Nuclear Liability Act has not yet been notified and come into force, even though nearly a year has passed since its adoption by parliament. Nor the rules under the Act have been placed before parliament. The UPA government should explain why this has not been done.


The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the UPA government firmly adhere to the law as established with regard to nuclear liability of foreign suppliers. This is all the more necessary after the Fukushima disaster. Instead of the private company which operates the reactors or the foreign suppliers, billions of dollars are being spent by the Japanese government after the nuclear accident to clean-up and rehabilitate those affected.