South Korea increases nuclear liability

12 December 2014

South Korea's nuclear power operator Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) will need to take out over $2 billion-worth of insurance after nuclear regulators announced a ten-fold increase in the liability limit in the event of a nuclear accident.

The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) is increasing the amount that must be covered by liability insurance from KRW50 billion (worth approximately $50 million) to KRW500 billion ($500 million) per site in a revision to the enforcement decree of South Korea's Nuclear Liability Act. The revised decree will take effect on 1 July 2015.

KHNP will be required to sign up for the insurance for each of its five nuclear power plant sites: Kori, Shin Kori, Wolsong, Shin Wolsong and Hanbit. Up to six units on one site can be covered by the same policy.

NSSC chairman Lee Unchul said the revision to the decree would ensure that the nuclear licensee would have more financial resources "to quickly and properly compensate victims in case of nuclear accident."

Operators of nuclear power plants are liable for any damage caused by them, regardless of fault, and normally take out insurance for third-party liability to cover this. Liability is limited by both international conventions and by national legislation.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News