Nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plantReuters

National Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), the government-owned nuclear power generation company, received India's first insurance policy that may offset liability risks seen as a bottleneck by foreign nuclear plant suppliers, reported IANS.

The policy — issued by government-owned non-life insurer New India Assurance Company Ltd — is compliant with the guidelines specified in the much discussed Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, an insurance official said.

"We recently got the insurance policy covering all our atomic power plants. The total premium came around Rs. 100 crore for a risk cover of Rs. 1,500 crore," S. K. Sharma, chairman and managing director of NPCIL, told IANS.

The policy, according to the report, will be applicable to all the plants of NPCIL. It covers their liability to the public in the event of accidents specified in the policy and the power plant's "right of recourse against the equipment suppliers." 

The reinstatement premium will be decided after a claim is filed based on the insurer's capacity to undertake further risks, said the official.

Reinstatement clause defines when the policy may restart: whether after a claim is filed by the insurance holder or after the insurer pays out the amount claimed. The clause also spells out if the coverage limit is reset or remains the same.

He also added that the policy is devoid of 'policy excess', defined as the first amount uncovered by the policy and hence liable to be paid by the company.

According to a press release from the department of atomic energy earlier this year, General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC-Re), with other Indian insurance companies, had put in place the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool with a corpus of Rs. 1500 crore in June 2015. The losses or profit in the pool will be shared by the insurance companies depending on their pre-determined risk capacities.

The announcement comes after NPCIL paid Rs. 50,000 to each of the six workers who suffered burn injuries at the Kudankulam nuclear plant in May 2014 on successful intervention by National Human Rights Commission, as reported by the Indian Express.

NPCIL is currently mired in allegations of misleading people about the safety of the Kovvada plant in Andhra Pradesh.

General Electric chairman Jeffrey Immelt also expressed reservations on building a nuclear plant in India, citing the liability law.