1963 Vienna Convention—snapshot
Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills
1963 Vienna Convention—snapshot

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • 1963 Vienna Convention—snapshot
  • International liability regime for nuclear damage
  • Linked conventions
  • 1997 Protocol
  • Who is liable?
  • What damage does the Vienna Convention cover?
  • Is the operator’s liability limited?
  • Financial security
  • Limitation period
  • Implementation in Europe
  • more

Title Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (Vienna Convention)
Parties 38 parties
Revisions 1997 Protocol (see Practice Note: 1997 Protocol to the 1963 Vienna Convention—snapshot)
Location Vienna, Austria
Adopted 21 May 1963
Came into force 12 November 1977
Subject Nuclear liability

International liability regime for nuclear damage

Civil liability for nuclear damage is governed by two major conventions:

  1. 1960 Paris Convention Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (Paris Convention)

  2. 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (Vienna Convention)

The conventions share similar core principles:

  1. liability lies exclusively with the operator of the nuclear installation—this removes the need for other parties to take out insurance, such as those involved with the construction and operation of a nuclear installation

  2. the operator's liability is strict, ie the operator is held liable irrespective of fault or negligence, except in limited circumstances (such as armed conflict, civil war or negligence of