Liability for nuclear installations

In the first case of its kind, the High Court has ruled that the strict liability regime under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 does not cover pure economic loss which may result from radioactive discharges. The statutory provisions are to be interpreted as restricting liability to personal injury and physical damage to property. The decision in Merlin and Others v British Nuclear Fuels plc (Times Law Reports, 3 April 1990) implies that under present law any compensation for widespread economic losses would be a matter for Government discretion rather than operator liability.

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