- Researchers' Activities
Given that nuclear power involves a complex and politically sensitive policy process, its prospects in Southeast Asia may wax and wane, even in frontrunner countries. Nonetheless, nuclear power might be a reality in this region in the next twenty years or so. Meanwhile, ASEAN Member States already face a transboundary risk due to nuclear power plants located near their borders. Despite the theoretically low probability of a major nuclear accident, ASEAN Member States share similar concerns about incurring damage in the event of an accident from nuclear power plants within the region. Such concerns may also extend to nuclear power plants near the region. As such, ASEAN needs to consider how best to set its governance priorities in order to effectively protect itself from such risks.
Since 2016, following a grant from Singapore's National Research Foundation, CIL has been carrying out legal and policy-oriented research and capacity-building activities in the areas of nuclear safety, security and civil liability for nuclear damage at the international, regional and sub-regional levels, leveraging off CIL’s expertise in other areas of international law, such as ocean law and policy and ASEAN law and policy, where appropriate.
Nuclear safety, security and liability are related areas. Nuclear safety focusses on protecting individuals, society and the environment from the harmful effects of ionising radiation and preventing and mitigating accidents with radiological consequences. Nuclear security relates to the prevention and detection of and response to criminal and other unauthorised acts involving or directed to nuclear or other radioactive material and associated facilities or activities. Nuclear liability deals with civil liability and compensation for nuclear damage, including transboundary damage. Following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, the world was reminded of the fact that nuclear liability forms an intrinsic part of nuclear safety.