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Radioactivity and the Law: NUCLEAR LIABILITY The Nuclear Installations Act 1965 Cheryl Parkhouse, Solicitor Radioactivity and the Law: NUCLEAR LIABILITY The Nuclear Installations Act 1965 Cheryl Parkhouse, Solicitor Burges Salmon LLP RSC, Burlington House, London Tuesday 6 October 2009

Overview • Brief overview of the structure of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 • Overview • Brief overview of the structure of the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 • Nuclear Liability – International – National (UK) • Case Law • Case study – Transport • Proposed future changes to Nuclear Liability

Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (NIA 1965) 1. Nuclear Site Licence 2. Nuclear Liability Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (NIA 1965) 1. Nuclear Site Licence 2. Nuclear Liability

1. Nuclear site licence • s. 1 requirement for nuclear site licence in order 1. Nuclear site licence • s. 1 requirement for nuclear site licence in order to install or operate a nuclear reactor • s. 4 – Key control – HSE to attach such conditions as it considers necessary or desirable in the interests of safety • 36 “Standard” Nuclear Site Licence Conditions – central part of regulation of main sites

2. Nuclear Liability International • Paris Convention 1960 (as amended) • Brussels Supplementary Convention, 2. Nuclear Liability International • Paris Convention 1960 (as amended) • Brussels Supplementary Convention, 1963 (as amended) National • Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (as amended) • UK is not a signatory • Vienna Convention 1963 (as amended) • Joint Protocol 1988 • Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage 1997

Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability 1960 and the NIA 1965 • Heads Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability 1960 and the NIA 1965 • Heads of damage • Operator liability • Strict liability • Maximum liability • Financial security • Limitation period for claims

Brussels Supplementary Convention 1963 and the NIA 1965 • Additional funds above Paris Convention Brussels Supplementary Convention 1963 and the NIA 1965 • Additional funds above Paris Convention liability limit • Limitations (e. g. , heads of damage) as in Paris Convention • Three tier compensation regime • Must be party to Paris Convention

Merlin and Others v British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (1990) • Plaintiff’s home six miles Merlin and Others v British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (1990) • Plaintiff’s home six miles south of nuclear re-processing plant • Dust samples in house indicated high levels of radioactive contamination • Claim under Nuclear Installations Act 1965 for compensation for financial loss suffered through diminution in value of house through level of radioactive contamination and perception of risk to health of children • Held: “liability under the Act did not extend to any loss or damage other than proved physical or mental personal injury and physical damage to property… risk or increased risk of damage to property and consequent risk of injury to health of inhabitants did not amount to ‘injury to any person or damage to any property”

Blue Circle Industries plc v Ministry of Defence (1998) • Marshland owned by plaintiff Blue Circle Industries plc v Ministry of Defence (1998) • Marshland owned by plaintiff contaminated with radioactive material from adjoining land owned by Atomic Weapons Establishment • Claim under Nuclear Installations Act 1965 • Held on appeal to be property damage under s. 7(1)(a): “The physical damage to property contemplated in s. 7(1)(a) is not limited to particular types of damage. Damage within the Act will occur provided there is some alteration in the physical characteristics of the property, in this case the marshland, caused by radioactive properties which render it less useful or less valuable” (Aldous, L. J)

Magnohard Ltd and Others v UKAEA (2003) • Petitioners owned property situated near Sandside Magnohard Ltd and Others v UKAEA (2003) • Petitioners owned property situated near Sandside Beach and near the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) power station at Dounreay • Small number of radioactive particles found on Sandside Beach • Claim under NIA 1965 - Petitioners claimed their land (near Sandside Beach) had been materially damaged by deposit of radioactive particles • Held (Lady Paton): “Sandside Beach has indeed suffered physical damage in the form of a “physical change” to the area affected…Damage in my view occurs as soon as a radioactive particle is deposited on the beach”

Transport and the NIA 1965 UK Paris Convention State UK Non-Contracting State Transport and the NIA 1965 UK Paris Convention State UK Non-Contracting State

Proposed future amendments to the NIA 1965 • To implement the International Protocol 2004 Proposed future amendments to the NIA 1965 • To implement the International Protocol 2004 to amend the Paris Convention 1960: – Amendment to definition of ‘Nuclear Installation’; – Widened definition of ‘Nuclear Damage’; – Widened class of claimant; – Increased duration and amount of liability.

Contact Details Cheryl Parkhouse Solicitor Nuclear Unit, Burges Salmon LLP Email: cheryl. parkhouse@burges-salmon. com Contact Details Cheryl Parkhouse Solicitor Nuclear Unit, Burges Salmon LLP Email: cheryl. parkhouse@burges-salmon. com Tel: +44 (0)117 902 6640 Fax: +44 (0)117 902 4400

This presentation gives general information only and is not intended to be an exhaustive This presentation gives general information only and is not intended to be an exhaustive statement of the law. Although we have taken care over the information, you should not rely on it as legal advice. We do not accept any liability to anyone who does rely on its content.