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United States and France Sign Joint Statement on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

The United States and France today issued the Joint Statement on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage that sets forth the common views of the United States and France on civil nuclear liability, including their support for establishment of a global nuclear liability regime allowing for adequate compensation to victims of a nuclear accident, as called for in the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. The Joint Statement results from discussions between the United States and France over the past year that culminated in the signing of the Joint Statement by U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy, Philippe Martin.

"The signing of this joint statement by our two countries marks a major milestone in moving towards an important recommendation of the IAEA: the creation of a global nuclear liability regime, and I urge every country to take the steps necessary to become a member," said Energy Secretary Moniz. "In addition, this statement recognizes the importance of bringing the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) into effect as an initial step. The United States is working to bring the CSC into effect during the next twelve months."

Specifically, the Joint Statement expresses the commitment of the United States and France to:

Work together towards achieving a global regime based on treaty relations among the United States, France, and other countries that might be affected by a nuclear accident;

Coordinate their actions in encouraging adherence to the enhanced international nuclear liability instruments, including, as appropriate, the revised Paris Convention (together with the revised Brussels Convention) or the revised Vienna Convention, which may be linked by the Joint Protocol, and the CSC, with an initial step being the entry into force of the CSC; and

Encourage countries to have national laws that fully incorporate international principles, including channeling all liability for nuclear damage exclusively to the operator on the basis of strict liability, and recent enhancements to those principles, as well as best practices designed to improve compensation of nuclear damage.
The United States and France agree that such actions by the United States, France and other countries will ensure adequate and equitable compensation for victims of nuclear damage arising from a nuclear accident, and create the worldwide trust necessary for the development of nuclear energy and related industrial activities.

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