UAE President Khalifa bin Zayid Al Nahyan took his country a step further towards nuclear power on 15 October by issuing a federal law setting out civil liability and compensation for damage resulting from a nuclear accident. The provisions of the law are in line with best practice as determined in consultations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The law also declares that Abu Dhabi’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) will be the competent authority for UAE nuclear liability, responsible for implementing the law and issuing rules and regulations.

UAE’s permanent representative to the IAEA Hamad al-Ka’bi told reporters: “This law was drafted in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage as amended by the 1997 Protocol, which the UAE acceded to in August 2012.” The convention requires that the operator of a nuclear facility is solely and exclusively responsible for damages arising from a nuclear accident. The new ruling – Federal Law by Decree No 4 of 2012 – sets the operator’s liability at not more than 450mn Special Drawing Rights, which is roughly equivalent to Dh2.5bn ($681mn). (CONTINUED - 507 WORDS)