Amount and type of financial protection for licensees
The amount of primary financial protection required shall be the amount of liability insurance available from private sources, except that the Commission may establish a lesser amount on the basis of criteria set forth in writing, which it may revise from time to time, taking into consideration such factors as the following: (A) the cost and terms of private insurance, (B) the type, size, and location of the licensed activity and other factors pertaining to the hazard, and (C) the nature and purpose of the licensed activity: Provided, That for facilities designed for producing substantial amounts of electricity and having a rated capacity of 100,000 electrical kilowatts or more, the amount of primary financial protection required shall be the maximum amount available at reasonable cost and on reasonable terms from private sources (excluding the amount of private liability insurance available under the industry retrospective rating plan required in this subsection). Such primary financial protection may include private insurance, private contractual indemnities, self-insurance, other proof of financial responsibility, or a combination of such measures and shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the Commission may, by rule, regulation, or order, prescribe. The Commission shall require licensees that are required to have and maintain primary financial protection equal to the maximum amount of liability insurance available from private sources to maintain, in addition to such primary financial protection, private liability insurance available under an industry retrospective rating plan providing for premium charges deferred in whole or major part until public liability from a nuclear incident exceeds or appears likely to exceed the level of the primary financial protection required of the licensee involved in the nuclear incident: Provided, That such insurance is available to, and required of, all of the licensees of such facilities without regard to the manner in which they obtain other types or amounts of such primary financial protection: And provided further, That the maximum amount of the standard deferred premium that may be charged a licensee following any nuclear incident under such a plan shall not be more than $95,800,000 (subject to adjustment for inflation under subsection (t)), but not more than $15,000,000 in any 1 year (subject to adjustment for inflation under subsection (t)), for each facility for which such licensee is required to maintain the maximum amount of primary financial protection: And provided further, That the amount which may be charged a licensee following any nuclear incident shall not exceed the licensee’s pro rata share of the aggregate public liability claims and costs (excluding legal costs subject to subsection (o)(1)(D), payment of which has not been authorized under such subsection) arising out of the nuclear incident. Payment of any State premium taxes which may be applicable to any deferred premium provided for in this chapter shall be the responsibility of the licensee and shall not be included in the retrospective premium established by the Commission.
The Commission may, on a case by case basis, assess annual deferred premium amounts less than the standard annual deferred premium amount assessed under paragraph (1)—
for any facility, if more than one nuclear incident occurs in any one calendar year; or
for any licensee licensed to operate more than one facility, if the Commission determines that the financial impact of assessing the standard annual deferred premium amount under paragraph (1) would result in undue financial hardship to such licensee or the ratepayers of such licensee.
In the event that the Commission assesses a lesser annual deferred premium amount under subparagraph (A), the Commission shall require payment of the difference between the standard annual deferred premium assessment under paragraph (1) and any such lesser annual deferred premium assessment within a reasonable period of time, with interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury on the basis of the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities during the month preceding the date that the standard annual deferred premium assessment under paragraph (1) would become due.
The Commission shall establish such requirements as are necessary to assure availability of funds to meet any assessment of deferred premiums within a reasonable time when due, and may provide reinsurance or shall otherwise guarantee the payment of such premiums in the event it appears that the amount of such premiums will not be available on a timely basis through the resources of private industry and insurance. Any agreement by the Commission with a licensee or indemnitor to guarantee the payment of deferred premiums may contain such terms as the Commission deems appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section and to assure reimbursement to the Commission for its payments made due to the failure of such licensee or indemnitor to meet any of its obligations arising under or in connection with financial protection required under this subsection including without limitation terms creating liens upon the licensed facility and the revenues derived therefrom or any other property or revenues of such licensee to secure such reimbursement and consent to the automatic revocation of any license.
In the event that the funds available to pay valid claims in any year are insufficient as a result of the limitation on the amount of deferred premiums that may be required of a licensee in any year under paragraph (1) or (2), or the Commission is required to make reinsurance or guaranteed payments under paragraph (3), the Commission shall, in order to advance the necessary funds—
request the Congress to appropriate sufficient funds to satisfy such payments; or
to the extent approved in appropriation Acts, issue to the Secretary of the Treasury obligations in such forms and denominations, bearing such maturities, and subject to such terms and conditions as may be agreed to by the Commission and the Secretary of the Treasury.
Except for funds appropriated for purposes of making reinsurance or guaranteed payments under paragraph (3), any funds appropriated under subparagraph (A)(i) shall be repaid to the general fund of the United States Treasury from amounts made available by standard deferred premium assessments, with interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury on the basis of the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities during the month preceding the date that the funds appropriated under such subparagraph are made available.
Except for funds appropriated for purposes of making reinsurance or guaranteed payments under paragraph (3), redemption of obligations issued under subparagraph (A)(ii) shall be made by the Commission from amounts made available by standard deferred premium assessments. Such obligations shall bear interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury by taking into consideration the average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations to the United States of comparable maturities during the month preceding the issuance of the obligations under this paragraph. The Secretary of the Treasury shall purchase any issued obligations, and for such purpose the Secretary of the Treasury may use as a public debt transaction the proceeds from the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under such chapter are extended to include any purchase of such obligations. The Secretary of the Treasury may at any time sell any of the obligations acquired by the Secretary of the Treasury under this paragraph. All redemptions, purchases, and sales by the Secretary of the Treasury of obligations under this paragraph shall be treated as public debt transactions of the United States.
For purposes of this section only, the Commission shall consider a combination of facilities described in subparagraph (B) to be a single facility having a rated capacity of 100,000 electrical kilowatts or more.
A combination of facilities referred to in subparagraph (A) is two or more facilities located at a single site, each of which has a rated capacity of 100,000 electrical kilowatts or more but not more than 300,000 electrical kilowatts, with a combined rated capacity of not more than 1,300,000 electrical kilowatts.
Indemnification of contractors by Department of Energy
In addition to any other authority the Secretary of Energy (in this section referred to as the “Secretary”) may have, the Secretary shall, until December 31, 2025, enter into agreements of indemnification under this subsection with any person who may conduct activities under a contract with the Department of Energy that involve the risk of public liability and that are not subject to financial protection requirements under subsection (b) or agreements of indemnification under subsection (c) or (k).
Beginning 60 days after August 20, 1988
, agreements of indemnification under subparagraph (A) shall be the exclusive means of indemnification for public liability arising from activities described in such subparagraph, including activities conducted under a contract that contains an indemnification clause under
[Public Law 85–804]
[50 U.S.C. 1431
et seq.] entered into between August 1, 1987
, and August 20, 1988
The Secretary may incorporate in agreements of indemnification under subparagraph (A) the provisions relating to the waiver of any issue or defense as to charitable or governmental immunity authorized in subsection (n)(1) to be incorporated in agreements of indemnification. Any such provisions incorporated under this subclause shall apply to any nuclear incident arising out of nuclear waste activities subject to an agreement of indemnification under subparagraph (A).
Public liability arising out of nuclear waste activities subject to an agreement of indemnification under subparagraph (A) that are funded by the Nuclear Waste Fund established in section 10222 of this title
shall be compensated from the Nuclear Waste Fund in an amount not to exceed the maximum amount of financial protection required of licensees under subsection (b).
In an agreement of indemnification entered into under paragraph (1), the Secretary—
may require the contractor to provide and maintain financial protection of such a type and in such amounts as the Secretary shall determine to be appropriate to cover public liability arising out of or in connection with the contractual activity; and
shall indemnify the persons indemnified against such liability above the amount of the financial protection required, in the amount of $10,000,000,000 (subject to adjustment for inflation under subsection (t)), in the aggregate, for all persons indemnified in connection with the contract and for each nuclear incident, including such legal costs of the contractor as are approved by the Secretary.
All agreements of indemnification under which the Department of Energy (or its predecessor agencies) may be required to indemnify any person under this section shall be deemed to be amended, on August 8, 2005, to reflect the amount of indemnity for public liability and any applicable financial protection required of the contractor under this subsection.
Financial protection under paragraph (2) and indemnification under paragraph (1) shall be the exclusive means of financial protection and indemnification under this section for any Department of Energy demonstration reactor licensed by the Commission under section 5842 of this title
In the case of nuclear incidents occurring outside the United States, the amount of the indemnity provided by the Secretary under this subsection shall not exceed $500,000,000.
The provisions of this subsection may be applicable to lump sum as well as cost type contracts and to contracts and projects financed in whole or in part by the Secretary.
A contractor with whom an agreement of indemnification has been executed under paragraph (1)(A) and who is engaged in activities connected with the underground detonation of a nuclear explosive device shall be liable, to the extent so indemnified under this subsection, for injuries or damage sustained as a result of such detonation in the same manner and to the same extent as would a private person acting as principal, and no immunity or defense founded in the Federal, State, or municipal character of the contractor or of the work to be performed under the contract shall be effective to bar such liability.
Exemption from financial protection requirement for nonprofit educational institutions
With respect to any license issued pursuant to section 2073, 2093, 2111, 2134(a), or 2134(c) of this title, for the conduct of educational activities to a person found by the Commission to be a nonprofit educational institution, the Commission shall exempt such licensee from the financial protection requirement of subsection (a). With respect to licenses issued between August 30, 1954, and December 31, 2025, for which the Commission grants such exemption:
the Commission shall agree to indemnify and hold harmless the licensee and other persons indemnified, as their interests may appear, from public liability in excess of $250,000 arising from nuclear incidents. The aggregate indemnity for all persons indemnified in connection with each nuclear incident shall not exceed $500,000,000, including such legal costs of the licensee as are approved by the Commission;
such contracts of indemnification shall cover public liability arising out of or in connection with the licensed activity; and shall include damage to property of persons indemnified, except property which is located at the site of and used in connection with the activity where the nuclear incident occurs; and
such contracts of indemnification, when entered into with a licensee having immunity from public liability because it is a State agency, shall provide also that the Commission shall make payments under the contract on account of activities of the licensee in the same manner and to the same extent as the Commission would be required to do if the licensee were not such a State agency.
Any licensee may waive an exemption to which it is entitled under this subsection. With respect to any production or utilization facility for which a construction permit is issued between August 30, 1954, and December 31, 2025, the requirements of this subsection shall apply to any license issued for such facility subsequent to December 31, 2025.
[Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724], title I, § 170, as added [Pub. L. 85–256, § 4], Sept. 2, 1957, [71 Stat. 576]; amended [Pub. L. 85–602], §§ 2, 2, Aug. 8, 1958, [72 Stat. 525]; [Pub. L. 85–744], Aug. 23, 1958, [72 Stat. 837]; [Pub. L. 87–206, § 15], Sept. 6, 1961, [75 Stat. 479]; [Pub. L. 87–615], §§ 6, 7, Aug. 29, 1962, [76 Stat. 410]; [Pub. L. 88–394], §§ 2, 3, Aug. 1, 1964, [78 Stat. 376]; [Pub. L. 89–210], §§ 1–5, Sept. 29, 1965, [79 Stat. 855–857]; [Pub. L. 89–645], §§ 2, 3, Oct. 13, 1966, [80 Stat. 891]; [Pub. L. 94–197], §§ 2–14, Dec. 31, 1975, [89 Stat. 1111–1115]; [Pub. L. 100–408], §§ 2–4(a), 5(c)–11(a), (c), (d)(1), 12–15, 16(a)(2), (b)(3)–(c), (d)(4)–(e), Aug. 20, 1988, [102 Stat. 1066–1068], 1070–1080; renumbered title I, [Pub. L. 102–486, title IX, § 902(a)(8)], Oct. 24, 1992, [106 Stat. 2944]; [Pub. L. 105–362, title XII, § 1201(b)], Nov. 10, 1998, [112 Stat. 3292]; [Pub. L. 107–314, div. C, title XXXI, § 3171], Dec. 2, 2002, [116 Stat. 2743]; [Pub. L. 108–7, div. O, § 101], Feb. 20, 2003, [117 Stat. 551]; [Pub. L. 108–375, div. C, title XXXI, § 3141], Oct. 28, 2004, [118 Stat. 2171]; [Pub. L. 109–58, title VI], §§ 602–608, Aug. 8, 2005, [119 Stat. 779–781]; [Pub. L. 109–295, title VI, § 612(c)], Oct. 4, 2006, [120 Stat. 1410]; [Pub. L. 117–286, § 4(a)(260)], Dec. 27, 2022, [136 Stat. 4334].)