Managing Nuclear Risks
in the United States
2011 ABA Annual Meeting
Section of Public Utility, Communications and
Marjorie Berger, Esq.
Vice President, Liability Claims
American Nuclear Insurers
American Nuclear Insurers
• ANI is a joint underwriting association of
major U.S. insurance and reinsurance
• ANI’s provides third party nuclear liability
insurance to U.S. commercial nuclear risks in
accordance with the Price Anderson Act (PAA)
• ANI insures every nuclear power plant in the
United States and other facilities that
comprise the nuclear fuel cycle
Price Anderson Act
• The PAA (42 USC §2210 et seq) is the legal cornerstone
for managing nuclear risk in the United States
• The PAA was enacted in 1957 to encourage the
private development of nuclear power
• The PAA mandated financial protection for
commercial nuclear facilities; encouraged the
development of a private insurance pool; and
established a liability regime for victims of
nuclear incidents
Price Anderson Act
• The PAA applies to NRC licensees involved in
the nuclear fuel cycle including:
– Production and utilization facilities
– Fuel reprocessing plants
– Suppliers and transporters
Price Anderson Act
• Key Provisions of the PAA
– Two Layers of Financial Protection
• Primary layer consisting of liability insurance available
from private sources
– Currently $375 million
• Secondary layer (SFP) consisting of an industry
retrospective rating plan
– Currently $117.5 million/reactor payable @ $17.5 million/yr
– Government Indemnity
• Limited to $500 million
Price Anderson Act
• Key Provisions of PAA
– Aggregate Limit on Liability
• $375 million primary layer
• $12.2 billion SFP
• $12.6 billion total
– Damages in excess of aggregate liability
• Congressional action
– Appropriation of funds
– Approval of compensation plans
Price Anderson Act
• Key PAA Provisions
– Evacuations/Emergency Assistance
• Initiated by State or political subdivision
• Immediate financial assistance
– Individuals
– Businesses
– Local government
– Compensation plans
• NRC report to Congress
• Court approval of plan for distribution
– 15% rule
Price Anderson Act
• PAA Liability Regime
– Economic Channeling of Liability to Licensees
• Other persons indemnified
• DOE contractors
– Federal Court Jurisdiction
– Public Liability Action
– Waiver of Defenses for an ENO
• ENO criterion based on NRC regulations
– Defense Costs Within Limits
Public Liability Actions
• A public liability action is any claim asserting legal
liability arising our of a nuclear incident
• A nuclear incident is any occurrence … causing … bodily
injury, sickness, disease or death, or … damage to
property arising out of or resulting from the
radioactive, toxic, explosive or other hazardous
properties of source, special nuclear, or by-product
• A public liability action is the exclusive federal remedy
for a claim arising out of a nuclear incident
Public Liability Actions
• The majority of federal courts require
plaintiffs who assert claims for public liability
to establish that:
– They were exposed to a dose of radiation greater
than NRC permissible dose limits (duty owed),
– Such exposure can and more likely than not
caused the claimed injury (general and specific
causation), and
– They have a present physical injury or actual
property damage
Price Anderson Act
– Presidential Commission on Catastrophic Nuclear
Accidents Recommendations
• Retention of judicial model
• Federal statutory and common law
• Premature to modify burden of proof for latent injuries

Managing Nuclear Risks in the United States Marjorie Berger