Nuclear facility operators have unlimited liability

Under the Nuclear Liability Act (484/1972), the operators of nuclear facilities located in Finland have unlimited liability for damage caused to third parties in Finland. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment oversees the currency and development of the Nuclear Liability Act, in consideration of the international agreements.

Finland is liable for damage in the field of nuclear energy under the Paris Convention (Finnish Treaty Series 20/1972) and the Brussels Supplementary Convention on damage liability in the field of nuclear energy (Finnish Treaty Series 4/1977). Finland has also signed the Vienna Joint Protocol (Finnish Treaty Series 98/1994). The joint protocol determines matters concerning nuclear liability between countries that have signed the Paris Convention and those that have signed the Vienna Convention on liability for nuclear damage. The international conventions in question determine the basic principles of the nuclear liability system.

For damage occurring outside Finland, a facility operator’s maximum liability amounts to 600 million International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights, which corresponds to approximately EUR 700 million. Facility operators must take out insurance that covers the maximum liability.

Finland is a party to international agreements according to which the contracting countries agree to compensate for damage exceeding the maximum level of the facility operator’s liability. Pursuant to these agreements, the signed states shall jointly further compensate for damage to a maximum of 125 million Special Drawing Rights (approx. EUR 146 million). 
 
Finnish injured parties can also receive compensation for damage caused by a nuclear facility situated outside Finland, provided that the facility is located in a country adhering to the above-mentioned agreements.

Besides Finland, these countries include Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
 

Further information: liisa.heikinheimo(at)tem.fi