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Nuclear liability law in the Czech Republic and Slovakia: current legislation and prospects for development

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The Czech Republic and Slovakia, both contracting parties to the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage of 1963, joined the European Union (EU) on 1 May 2004. Both countries have announced plans to increase their nuclear capacities during the process of the so-called nuclear new build. Owing to these developments, nuclear legislation within these Central European states is of rising interest to specialists abroad. This paper aims to deal with the existing obligations in both countries arising from international conventions and current national legislation on matters of nuclear liability. Special attention is paid to the methods by which provisions of the Vienna Convention have been implemented into their national acts, particularly regarding minimal limits of operator liability. Differences between the current legal regimes are pointed out. Furthermore, the paper deals with actual developments in the area of nuclear liability, particularly developments in Slovakia, which declared that future nuclear liability legislation must be oriented towards the possibility that the country will accede to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy of 1960, as amended by the Protocol of 2004.

Keywords: Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage 1963, Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention 1988, Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage 1997, Act on Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy 1997, Czech Republic, Act on Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy 2004, Slovakia, nuclear law, legislation, nuclear liability, operator liability, nuclear power

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