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      The Nuclear Civil Liability Regimes and the Path Forward for the State of Qatar

      International Review of Law
      Qatar University

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          Abstract

          While many states are moving away from nuclear power and decommissioning their reactors for cheaper and safer alternative energy sources, recent years have seen a spark in interest for nuclear power within the Middle East under the pretext of ‘energy independence’. This trend poses a potential threat for the safety of the region considering that nuclear power plants are prone to human errors, deliberate attacks, and natural environmental convulsions which could trigger potential transboundary fallout. Given the region’s small and compacted geography along with the increasingly volatile geopolitical instability, a regional incident would likely have much direr consequences compared to other previous nuclear incidents. As a non-nuclear power state, Qatar is not currently party to any of the nuclear civil liability conventions which could guarantee some level of compensation for the victims in case of transboundary nuclear harm. In due course, Qatar will be surrounded by nuclear reactors from the north (the Iranian Bushehr plant), the east (the UAE Barakah plant) and the west (the planned Saudi plants). As exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, theoretical transboundary calamities can unexpectedly become a sudden reality and there is a solemn need to work proactively when dealing with such consequential hypotheticals. Therefore, this article qualitatively assesses the relevant international conventions with an aim of being policy relevant and navigate Qatari decision-makers through the vexing web of the nuclear civil liability regimes.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          International Review of Law
          IRL
          Qatar University
          27102505
          2223859X
          2021
          2021
          July 2021
          July 2021
          : 10
          : 1
          : 267-283
          Article
          10.29117/irl.2021.0162
          05f2fa96-a03d-4e5c-b002-e02c1689a889
          © 2021

          https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

          https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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