Follow our news, events and position statements on the UK’s nuclear insurance industry.

Nuclear Risk Insurers leads renewal of nuclear third-party liability policy for Energoatom

Nuclear Risk Insurers (NRI), the lead reinsuring pool to the Ukraine Nuclear Insurance Pool (UNIP), renewed the nuclear third-party liability policy for Energoatom, the Ukrainian nuclear power operator, on 29 July 2022.

The cover renewed is for three of the Energoatom nuclear power plant (NPP) sites at Rivne, Khmelnytska and Yuzhnoukrainsk, which are all within the direct control and oversight of nuclear safety operators.

Since 24 February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, UNIP has continued to provide nuclear liability cover to Energoatom with the support of NRI and the nuclear insurance pools. This includes an extension of the original policy that incepted on 29 April 2021 for a period of three months.

Key to providing this cover and the renewal has been UNIP and NRI’s close collaboration with Energoatom and the continuous monitoring of the sites, to assure our members that the “controlling mind” remains with Energoatom and that there has been no “material change in risk”. 

Additionally, UNIP, at NRI’s request, negotiated a more clearly defined war exclusion in the policy. The Vienna Convention 1963 (VC63), which determines the strict liability on Energoatom in Ukraine, allows for a war exclusion but that is the only exception, with all other triggers for an offsite release of ionising radiation being covered by the strict liability and channelling of liability and compensation to victims to Energoatom. 

The criteria above were used to conclude that the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia NPPs were no longer capable of being insured and, as a result, they have now become subject to a Ukrainian government indemnity in the absence of an insurance or alternative finance solution for their liability.

NRI’s engineers worked closely with UNIP’s engineer to develop the criteria that sit behind the two main concerns noted above, and these criteria continue to be in force under the renewed insurance cover.

UNIP and NRI have in turn been supported by the international nuclear insurance pooling community which has provided the supporting reinsurance capacity to the UNIP programme, in addition to NRI.  

As part of the renewal, UNIP has been in constant dialogue with Energoatom and the Ukrainian government. With a shortfall of nuclear insurance pools capacity, UNIP has successfully negotiated a government indemnity that sits alongside the nuclear insurance pools, which in turn helps provide the full SDR150m (circa USD200m) required by the national law and the VC63.

Mark Popplewell, Managing Director of NRI, said: “It is humbling to have seen how our colleagues in Ukraine have continued to work so professionally under such extreme circumstances, and to have also been supported by our Lloyd’s of London and insurance market members, who have backed our decisions to stay on risk and have shown continued faith in our engineering and underwriting expertise.

We are also grateful for the support we have received from the reinsurance pools who have collaborated with NRI on the technical challenges encountered. It is a true demonstration of the solidarity the international nuclear insurance pooling system has with UNIP and with Ukraine during their time of need.”

Dimitry Rasshyvalov, Managing Director of the UNIP, said: “The contract with Energоatom has been successfully renewed through cooperation with the international nuclear insurance pooling system. We appreciate the support of our colleagues from NRI, the leader of UNIP’s reinsurance programme.”

Radiate Nuclear Network Event July 2022

On 14 July, NRI hosted the Radiate Nuclear Network’s first face-to-face event since pre-Covid, in which Network members were left enriched by Burges Salmon partner Ian Truman, one of the country’s top nuclear law experts, who delivered a presentation on the Revised Paris Convention 2004 and its implementation and application, both in the United Kingdom and across the world. The session was extremely thought-provoking and left members with a range of questions on various elements of the presentation, which Ian gladly answered. Following the presentation, Network members were afforded plenty of time to socialise and network with one another in the event space.

The Radiate Nuclear Network was formed in February 2020 by NRI with the goal of providing educational and social events to a membership made up of nuclear industry professionals in the UK, allowing them to learn and network with one another with a specific focus on insurance. Opening up and demystifying the world of nuclear insurance is something both Radiate and NRI are passionate about doing, and if that helps showcase nuclear’s role in our energy future and as part of the drive to net zero, both nationally and internationally, that is great too.

The Committee which manages the Network is chaired by Joe Turnpenny of NRI and includes NRI underwriters Claudio Mares, Rebecca Milton and Chris Rees, as well as Price Forbes’ Louise Webber and AXA XL’s Andrea Ciraci. Joe said of the event: 

“It was a delight to see so many people turn out for our first in-person event since February 2020, after so long seeing our members sat behind computer screens in the fully remote-working age. Ian’s presentation was fantastic and gave our members a great insight into the Revised Paris Convention and its global implementation, stimulating some excellent questions and discussions from our member underwriters, brokers and engineers alike.

On behalf of the Radiate Committee and wider Network, I’d like to thank NRI for its continuous support of our mission and for hosting this excellent event. Also, my thanks to Burges Salmon and Ian Truman for their support in presenting at this event – we have had nothing but positive feedback from attendees for the session content and the discussion it stimulated.”

The Radiate Committee has big plans for the rest of 2022, including a much-anticipated in-person site visit event at Sizewell B Nuclear Power Plant, and it looks forward to delivering further success stories in the near future.

Team Summit Mentality at Snowdon24 Endurance Race

On the weekend of 9 and 10 July, Joe, who works in our Underwriting team, and two of his good friends competed in the inaugural Snowdon24 endurance trail race, a 24-hour ultramarathon, representing Team Summit Mentality in their maiden competitive endurance event.

The three runners managed to summit Yr Wyddfa nine times as a team within the 24-hour window, placing first in the teams-of-three category and sixth overall out of 186 competitors, all whilst raising over £3,000 for their chosen charities, Prostate Cancer UK and Sport in Mind.

Reflecting on the experience, Joe said: “I learnt so much about my body and mind over the 24-hour period, which included a solo summit of England & Wales’ highest peak in total darkness at midnight on the Sunday – by far the toughest challenge I have ever undertaken! Running such a distance on virtually no sleep in near-total darkness has a way of forcing you to enter the darkest depths of your mind and I feel so much stronger now, having completed the challenge.

A huge thanks to our behind-the-scenes race team and documentary makers for all their hard work in realising my, and my friends’, crazy dream – we couldn’t have done it without you, and we can’t wait to see how the documentary turns out.

So excited to see what the future holds for Summit Mentality – watch this space!”

The team plan to take on popular Danish staged trail marathon Etapeløb Thy Trail Race in November of this year.

NRI bids farewell to Imperial College London

NRI and its predecessor, the British Insurance (Atomic Energy) Committee (BIAEC), have been supporting Imperial College London with nuclear insurance for many years. Our first policy was created in 1958, just two years after BIAEC’s formation, which coincided with the commercial operation of Calder Hall, the first civil nuclear power plant in the UK in 1956.

The first policies for Imperial covered a subcritical nuclear assembly in South Kensington and provided a separate indemnity of £100,000 for nuclear liability and property damage. In 1964, BIAEC then provided insurance for Imperial’s research reactor that had been built in Silwood Park, Ascot, including a £5m indemnity. At the end of March 2022, Imperial surrendered its site licence after fully decommissioning the reactor, and NRI has now ceased providing nuclear insurance for Imperial. The indemnity of the last liability policy was €70m.

It has been an honour to continuously insure Imperial College London for the past 64 years and NRI is pleased that Imperial will remain active in the field of nuclear engineering, promoting and co-ordinating nuclear energy research in collaboration with key external partners.

NRI features in Lloyd’s case study on working towards a green transition

Nuclear Risk Insurers (NRI) has collaborated with Lloyd’s Futureset and EDF (UK) to profile the role nuclear will play in decarbonising our future energy supply. The video explains the relationship between Lloyd’s and NRI, and outlines NRI’s contribution to effecting regulatory change.

The video also highlights how NRI, and the capacity it pools from Lloyd’s syndicates and company market members, supports the nuclear industry by providing insurance in close partnership with the international nuclear insurance pools.

To view the video, click here.

To view the full report produced by Lloyd’s click here.

NRI publishes its Corporate Report for 2022

NRI has published its third Corporate Report- access it here.

Our latest Corporate Report has been redesigned to make it more accessible and engaging for our stakeholders. We’ve also included new sections on nuclear insurance pools and third-party liability claims, as well as an article on sustainability from Lloyd’s Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown.

In addition to the items above, the Corporate Report 2022 features an overview of the current nuclear landscape from Tom Greatrex, CEO at the Nuclear Industry Association, an update on SMR/AMR technology, and interviews with NRI members and international clients.

The report also lays out NRI’s vision for 2022 and beyond, and explains what makes nuclear insurance different from conventional insurance.

NRI chooses DLT-based application from B3i to increase the efficiency of inter-pool reinsurance contracts

In partnership with the UK Nuclear Pool and five other European pools, Nuclear Risk Insurers (NRI) has chosen B3i to provide a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based application to manage inter-pool reinsurance contracts. The technology will provide increased contract certainty, process efficiency and real-time portfolio oversight.

Contract certainty is one of the main benefits of B3i’s application, as it presents a single version of the truth to all users. Once a transaction has been initiated, it’s immediately distributed to reciprocating pools, and any response is also instantly logged.

NRI will, in future, be able to place and bind a reinsurance contract with a few clicks, avoiding the need to go back and forth via email to request documentation or further information. The whole reinsurance process will be made easier, more efficient and more accurate.

“It removes potential ambiguity from the process, as everyone is looking at the same data,” explained Rebecca Milton, Underwriting Business Analyst at NRI. “There’s no room for different interpretations of the same information.”

In parallel with the five other European pools, the Underwriting team at NRI has thoroughly tested B3i’s application and has now made it live.

Anticipating take-up from other nuclear pools, Claudio Mares, Senior Underwriter at NRI, commented: “In total, almost 30 pools interact during the placement of reinsurance risks, so it was important that we found a partner who could ultimately act and work on behalf of all the pools and get buy-in from all of them.”

United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now awards NRI Gold status

Following the submission of its annual report for 2020 on climate actions, Nuclear Risk Insurers has been assigned Gold status in each of the required three steps (Measure, Reduce, Contribute) by the United Nations’ Climate Neutral Now initiative.

Climate Neutral Now is a worldwide community of organisations committed to accelerating the transition to global climate neutrality by 2050. The initiative also serves as a tool to promote and recognise voluntary steps taken by organisations related to climate action.

NRI signed up to Climate Neutral Now in 2020 and, as a result, implemented a detailed travel policy aimed at reducing the impact of its corporate travel activities, which typically have been the key contributor to NRI’s emissions. The restrictions imposed on all travel in 2020 meant that, as well as the reduction in commuting into the London office, the number of flights taken by its employees decreased from over 100 to 20.

All of NRI’s submitted data has been verified by carbon-analytics specialist Alectro.

“Having proven we could manage our international relationships with minimal trips abroad last year,” explained Val Martell, Engineering Surveyor at NRI, “the challenge now is to maintain this approach wherever possible to ensure our sustainability performance remains strong.

“As part of our innovative actions drive, we are seeking to engage our supply chain and wider partners to take action related to climate transparency. One specific example is to raise awareness of the impact of flights to and from annual events for other nuclear pools. We are engaging in conversations with all members to decide what is necessary as a collective. We also actively seek environmentally preferable purchasing for everyday items.”

NRI encourages employees who don’t travel internationally to identify additional innovative actions to reduce the organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions and add them to a dedicated database. One example is a vegetarian week held in May 2021 which promoted cutting back on eating meat.

If you would like to know more about NRI’s net zero activities, please contact us or the Alectro team here.

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