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C 60/18 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 2.

98

On 21 March 1997, in accordance with Article 5 of Regulation No 4258/88, as amended by Regulation (EEC)
No 2083/93 on the European Regional Development Fund (3), the same Ministry sent the Commission a request
for funding for the dams of the ‘Rii Monti Nieddu e Is Canargius’, for a total cost of ECU 62 million. The
Commission is currently examining the request.

(1) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.


(2) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.
(3) OJ L 193, 31.7.1993.

(98/C 60/37) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1320/97


by Gerhard Schmid (PSE) to the Commission
(11 April 1997)

Subject: Limit of liability for nuclear power stations

Under paragraph 13(3) of the German Atomic Energy Law, prudential reserves to cover liability for damages
incurred by nuclear power station operators are limited to DM 500 million. The damage caused by a serious
accident in a nuclear power station would be far higher, and the state would therefore have to provide
compensation for damage exceeding this sum.
1. Does this provision constitute indirect state aid which would require approval?
2. Does this provision constitute a distortion of competition vis-à-vis other electricity producers?

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission


(4 June 1997)

The provisions on liability for nuclear damage of the German atomic energy law are not at variance with existing
international nuclear third party liability conventions, as far as it provides for partial compensation for damage
by the state. Under the Vienna Convention on civil liability for nuclear damage as well as the Paris Convention
on third party liability in the field of nuclear energy, the operator of a nuclear installation is required to provide
financial security covering liability for nuclear damage in such amounts as specified by the installation state.
Such security can be provided by insurance or other financial security, i.e. a state guarantee. The Brussels
Convention, supplementary to the Paris Convention, to which Germany, like most Member States is a party,
specifically requires that, as of a certain amount and up to a fixed ceiling, compensation for nuclear damage be
provided out of public funds to be made available in first instance by the contracting party where the nuclear
installation of the operator is situated and on top of that by contracting parties to that Convention according to an
agreed formula.

Therefore, the provision in question does not seem to constitute state aid within the meaning of Article 92 of the
EC Treaty. It is based on an international agreement aiming at establishing a generally applicable security
framework for risks from nuclear activities. Each energy sector is subject to certain rules regarding safety or
environmental protection which correspond to the distinctive nature of the various energy resources. However,
even if considered as state aid the provisions would probably fall under the derogation of Article 92(2)(b) as they
intend to make good the damage caused by exceptional occurrences.

(98/C 60/38) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1421/97


by Anita Pollack (PSE) to the Commission
(23 April 1997)

Subject: Energy saving in the Ukraine

Given that some sources say that the Ukraine’s energy efficiency is approximately 30% of the OECD average,
what action has the EU taken to undertake/sponsor or jointly initiate energy-saving actions in that country?