UAE Issues Nuclear Liability Law

The UAE has issued a Federal Law by Decree No. 4 of 2012 concerning Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, as a result of continued work in establishing adequate legal framework for its nuclear liability regime.

The new Federal Law provides a legal regime to ensure that those who suffer damages as a result of a nuclear accident have recourse to adequate compensation.
“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,” said Ambassador Hamad Alkaabi during a press conference in Abu Dhabi, on 15 October 2012.
Under the new Federal Law the operator of a nuclear facility is solely and exclusively liable for damages arising from a nuclear incident as defined in the 1997 Vienna Convention.
The operator’s liability under this Federal Law by Decree is set not exceed 450 million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which is equivalent to roughly 2.5 billion UAE Dirhams.
The provisions of the law are in line with the UAE international obligations and best international practices. The text and provisions of this law have been under consultation and reviewed by the IAEA Legal experts to ensure its consistency with IAEA guidance and relevant international obligations.

“The establishment of such a robust nuclear liability regime is another step forward of the UAE Government’s responsible approach to develop a solid regulatory framework for the peaceful nuclear energy programme,” highlighted Ambassador Alkaabi. “This new liability regime provides a clear and predictable process for the public and nuclear industry to deal with compensation for damages that may arise in the case of a nuclear accident.”
The text of the Federal Law by Decree No 4 of 2012, Concerning Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage is available on the FANR website:

In 2012, the Government took a significant step forward establishing the liability regime for nuclear damage by becoming a party to the international conventions on nuclear third party liability through acceding basic international instruments:

• the Protocol to Amend the 1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage; and
• the Joint Protocol on the Application of the Vienna and Paris Conventions.
By joining to these conventions, the UAE meets its policy commitments and further demonstrates its responsible approach in developing peaceful nuclear energy programme.
The international liability regime defines a framework for organizing responsibly the mechanism for compensation for damage after a nuclear accident.