NEI urges 10th Circuit Court to reconsider ruling on nuclear liability

NEI urges 10th Circuit Court to reconsider ruling on nuclear liability.
NEI urges 10th Circuit Court to reconsider ruling on nuclear liability.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, a leading nuclear industry lobbying group, is urging the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a recent decision that it says undermines the Price-Anderson Act (PAA), part of a system put in place by Congress to establish federal safety standards for nuclear energy.

“Under Price-Anderson, plaintiffs would have to claim that there was a release beyond federal limits and they would have to demonstrate that that release caused damage, or the impacts that they're complaining about,” Ellen Ginsberg, NEI's vice president, secretary and general counsel, said. “You plead a Price-Anderson claim under the federal statute; the intent of the 1988 amendment was to ensure that it's either a Price-Anderson claim, or you don't have a claim at all. The 10th Circuit decision changes that somewhat in that you can plead a Price-Anderson claim and if you can make out the elements of that claim, you can move forward under Price-Anderson; however, you could also plead a state claim, but without being required to show that there has been a release beyond federal standards.”

Ginsberg said that the ruling creates a number of problems that the 1988 amendment to Price-Anderson was intended to solve -- including the question of whether a plaintiff who fails to prove a federal claim for nuclear-related injury could pursue and recover damages in a state claim.

The defendants in the case have requested a stay while they file for certiorari for Supreme Court review.

For more information on the Nuclear Energy Institute, visit www.nei.org.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, a leading nuclear industry lobbying group, is urging the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a recent decision that it says undermines the Price-Anderson Act (PAA), part of a system put in place by Congress to establish federal safety standards for nuclear energy.

“Under Price-Anderson, plaintiffs would have to claim that there was a release beyond federal limits and they would have to demonstrate that that release caused damage, or the impacts that they're complaining about,” Ellen Ginsberg, NEI's vice president, secretary and general counsel, said. “You plead a Price-Anderson claim under the federal statute; the intent of the 1988 amendment was to ensure that it's either a Price-Anderson claim, or you don't have a claim at all. The 10th Circuit decision changes that somewhat in that you can plead a Price-Anderson claim and if you can make out the elements of that claim, you can move forward under Price-Anderson; however, you could also plead a state claim, but without being required to show that there has been a release beyond federal standards.”

Ginsberg said that the ruling creates a number of problems that the 1988 amendment to Price-Anderson was intended to solve -- including the question of whether a plaintiff who fails to prove a federal claim for nuclear-related injury could pursue and recover damages in a state claim.

The defendants in the case have requested a stay while they file for certiorari for Supreme Court review.

For more information on the Nuclear Energy Institute, visit www.nei.org.

Organizations in this story

Nuclear Energy Institute 1201 F St NW D.C., DC - 20004

Get notified the next time we write about Nuclear Energy Institute!