OTTAWA, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian nuclear industry told a parliamentary committee today that it accepts a proposed $1 billion liability limit for nuclear accidents.
"The $1 billion limit balances the nuclear industry's operational needs and the public's need for an effective liability regime," Dr. John Barrett, the President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, told the Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
The $1 billion limit would take effect if Bill C-22, the proposed Energy Safety and Security Act, becomes law. The bill would replace the 1976 Nuclear Liability Act (NLA) with a Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act, and ratify an international treaty providing additional coverage for foreign damage caused by Canadian nuclear operators.
Said Dr. Barrett: "Our members place safety above all other considerations. We are proud of the fact that no claim has ever been filed under the Nuclear Liability Act."
Dr. Barrett added that the bill's treaty provisions would enable industry members to operate in other countries, and increase the industry's economic contributions to Canada.
The nuclear industry directly employs about 30,000 Canadians and indirectly employs a further 30,000 through its supply chain, according to a study by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. The industry pays $1.5 billion in taxes.
Nuclear power plants generate about 15% of Canada's electricity without creating the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
If Parliament passes Bill C-22, the nuclear industry would encourage the government to increase the number of insurance companies eligible to provide nuclear liability insurance.
Bill C-22 would allow nuclear operators to provide insurance alternatives for up to 50 per cent of their liability.
SOURCE: Canadian Nuclear Association
For further information: Malcolm Bernard, Director of Communications, 613-237-4262 #110, 613-612-0096 (mobile)