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NUCLEAR INSURANCE ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (NIAC)

Nuclear insurance association of Canada (NIAC) logo

Overview

The NUCLEAR INSURANCE ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (NIAC) specializes in high quality insurance risk management for Canadian nuclear exposures by creating innovative solutions for our customers. NIAC is a valued insurance provider throughout the entire supply chain of the nuclear industry in Canada that would otherwise be unable to obtain nuclear insurance coverage. NIAC consists of leading Insurers and Reinsurers in Canada that come together to provide true risk transfer, secure insurance capacity and expert insurance products and services in the areas of underwriting, loss control engineering and claims management.

Underwriting

Licensed nuclear operators purchase nuclear liability insurance to satisfy the financial responsibility requirements under the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act through NIAC, as an approved insurer by the Federal Minister of Natural Resources.

The fundamental principles of nuclear liability legislation in Canada is consistent with most jurisdictions around world that utilize nuclear power to generate electricity. A primary principle is absolute liability which channels all nuclear liability of a nuclear incident to the operator regardless of the actual cause, with no right of recourse on the part of the operator. The current limit that the large Canadian nuclear power operators must carry is $1 Billion CDN. There is a 30-year limitation period in which persons injured may file their claim.

NIAC’s experience and deep understanding of insuring large nuclear operators in Canada gives us insights that can benefit new SMR technologies and opportunities. In addition to mandatory requirements for nuclear liability insurance, NIAC can create a complete nuclear insurance risk program tailored for SMR operations that can protect physical assets and economic loss with cradle-to-grave solutions.

Loss Control Engineering

NIAC conducts on site inspections of the large nuclear power stations we insure, to protect the interests of our members and provide a value-added service to the overall risk management of these facilities. Our team of engineers bring more than 130 years of combined experience that benefit the nuclear industry as a whole and can assist SMR technologies moving from research and testing to full scale operations.

Our engineers are guided by International Guidelines, established by the Nuclear Insurance Pools.  These comprehensive guidelines have been developed to cover all areas of risk associated with nuclear power plants. NIAC utilizes innovative processes and tools to enhance the efficiency of its surveys and effectiveness of its survey reports at providing meaningful risk management feedback to clients. NIAC offers an insurer’s assessment of the risks and value-adding recommendations for risk mitigation that are independent from regulators and gives another layer of information for optimal SMR operations.

Claims Management

In the highly unlikely event of a nuclear incident there are well established onsite and offsite emergency responses by the operator and province.  In addition, NIAC has developed a nuclear emergency claims response. NIAC has invested substantial efforts and has engaged the senior executive Claims experts in Canada and abroad to develop a best in class insurance claims process.  The Claims Administration system responds to claims that may lead to an insurable loss.

NIAC’s promise is to promptly identify and evaluate claims for recovery under the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act on behalf of the operators we insure.

What is a Nuclear Insurance Pool?

An insurance pool is commonly employed where the risks in question are few in number, or involve capacity beyond the means of a single insurer. Nuclear Insurance Pools were established by the major insurance markets around the world in the 1950’s as a response to pressure from both governments and the nuclear industry to provide nuclear liability cover, and also to offer property damage insurance to protect high valued assets.

Pools are able to offer significant insurance limits as required by the nuclear sector and this business structure helps to generate the confidence needed to deal with SMR’s unique risk exposure and limits that benefits operators of all sizes.

The risks presented by the civil use of nuclear power are categorised as low-frequency, high-cost events. On the one hand, they demand a deployment of capacity by the insurance market that is greater than any other industrial activity, but on the other hand, the risks themselves are few in number and present an unbalanced portfolio with insufficient data that is the basis for insurance statistical modelling. Globally, nuclear risks generate an overall amount of premium which is disproportionately small in comparison with their political, sociological and economic importance.  NIAC is the Canadian nuclear insurance pool and participates with other nuclear insurance pools around the world.

Leadership and Education

NIAC also strives to promote thought leadership and quality educational content to all stakeholders such as our recent Leadership Forum focussed on the regulation, innovation and demonstration of SMRs in Canada.  

NIAC’s leadership role can help Canada’s SMR technology and applications as it transitions from research and testing to commercial operation. We want to collaborate to ensure success for SMR applications by developing the appropriate nuclear insurance risk program. NIAC is ready to engage with SMR licensee applicants right now, to complete the needs assessments for insurance products and services and create the optimal nuclear insurance risk program that will be unique for SMRs.

ACTIONS

POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
Nuclear Liability Regulation
STATUS: UPCOMING
NI01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 6

ACTION

Nuclear Liability & Compensation Act (NLCA) Regulation to be reviewed by the appropriate authorities to reflect SMR technology.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Changes to the Regulations and any additions of designated installations will require satisfying Section 28 of the NLCA.