Belgium’s Parliament approved a nuclear civil liability bill at a plenary session on Thursday, with the majority voting in favour and the opposition against. The bill confirms the principle of limited liability and includes a guarantee by the State. A law that entered into effect earlier this year increases the liability of nuclear operators such as Electrabel, Belgoprocess and the Institute of Radio Elements (IRE) in Fleurus. In keeping with the 1960 Paris Convention, this liability is limited, amounting to 1.2 billion euros. On the other hand, it is objective: victims who have suffered damage are not obliged to prove that the operator was at fault. Thus, in principle, the operator has almost no recourse.
Operators are only obliged to take out insurance amounting to 300 million euros. The State guarantees anything above that amount until the 1st of January 2018, a deadline that could be extended. The guaranteed amount has to be reimbursed by the operator.