The UK nuclear liabilities regime
Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills
The UK nuclear liabilities regime

The following Energy practice note produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The UK nuclear liabilities regime
  • International treaty background
  • 1963 Vienna Convention
  • 1960 Paris Convention
  • 1963 Brussels Supplementary Convention
  • 2004 Protocols to Amend the Paris Convention (2004 Protocols)
  • Implementation into UK legislation
  • Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (NuIA)
  • Subsequent legislation
  • Key principles of liability under the NuIA
  • More...

The UK is a party to the international nuclear liabilities regime established by the 1960 Paris Convention and its subsequent amendment agreements. These international obligations are implemented by the Nuclear Installations Act 1965, as amended by various primary and secondary legislation to reflect Convention amendments and UK policy choices within the permitted parameters. The most recent of these, still pending ratification, is the Nuclear Installations (Liability for Damage) Order 2016 SI 2016/562, which will implement the 2004 Protocols to Amend the Paris Convention once the 2004 Protocols are ratified.

This article summarises the evolution and current position of UK nuclear liability law, discusses the imminent future changes brought about by new legislation to reflect the 2004 Protocols and considers possible future steps to creating a more unified worldwide nuclear liability regime.

International treaty background

1963 Vienna Convention

The UK signed, but never ratified the Vienna Convention. Although it shares core principles with the Paris Convention, which the UK did ratify (see below), there are incompatibilities which mean that it is not possible to be party to both. The 1988 Joint Protocol was designed to resolve the conflicts between the two Conventions where there is a single nuclear incident which affects property or individuals across both Vienna and Paris Convention signatory countries. The UK has signed, but not yet ratified, the Joint Protocol.

See Practice Note: 1963 Vienna Convention—snapshot.

1960 Paris

Related documents:

Popular documents