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Nuclear Power Plant Accidents, Who Is Covered?

On July 26 we talked a bit about what is and is not covered under most insurance policies.

One item that is not covered was nuclear plant accidents. And here’s a little known fact about the federal government and plant coverage.

While homeowners insurance companies may not cover nuclear plant accidents, these accident do affect your ability to safely live in your home. That’s where the Price-Anderson Act comes into play.

The 1957 Price-Anderson Act is a federal law and has been renewed several times, the most recent renewal was in 2005. In effect the Act indemnifies the nuclear plant while ensuring compensation for damages or injuries the general public suffers due to a commercial plant leak or failure.

Leaks and failures such as the 1979 Three Mile accident, Chernobyl in 1986 and the Fukushima Daiichi disaster are three of the more notorious accidents. It is interesting to note that nuclear accidents also have happened on submarines.

Claims covered under the Price-Anderson Act include:

  • Bodily injury
  • Sickness
  • Disease resulting in death
  • Property damage and loss

The Act covers the cost of living expenses of the evacuees, but not mortgages or normal food bills.

About $12.6 billion of this no-fault type of insurance is industry-funded. Claims above the $12.6 billion would then be covered by a Congressional mandate.

The Act was passed as an incentive for the private production of nuclear which was then believed to be the power source of the future. All claims are channeled directly through the operator of the nuclear power plant.

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