Price-Anderson Act: A Model towards Harmonization of European Union Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage?
International civil liability for nuclear damage is embodied by two major instruments: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil liability for Nuclear Damage and Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy of 1960 (OECD) with its amending protocols. Major problem arises because of lack of coherence among contracting parties and for this reason supplementary conventions and protocols has been adopted but sufficient results has not been achieved. After Fukushima accident harmonization of liability regimes remains essential in the European Union. Paradox remains with third party nuclear liability rules whereas nuclear states follow the principles of channelling, limited liability of the operator and exclusive jurisdiction of the courts on contrary non-nuclear states adhere to different principles due to international law. The co-existence of heterogeneous compensation systems shows the need for legal framework harmonization at European Union or even global level. Civil liability for nuclear damage in the USA is regulated by the Price-Anderson Act which is being regularly revised. This model provides extraordinary nuclear occurrence which prevents nuclear installation operator from tort law defences however it creates strict liability for nuclear operators in case of a nuclear accident thus provides economic channelling instead of legal channelling. This paper analyses Price-Anderson model compensation system and its possible adjustments to European Union civil liability for nuclear damage framework.