The European Commission has formally asked ministers to approve a new protocol to the Paris Convention on international nuclear insurance, allowing a significant extension of cover. Brussels said this may now be widened to cover damage to the environment, non-material damage and the cost of safeguard measures.

Geographical scope is also being extended to cover countries outside the convention like Ireland and Luxembourg, while nuclear operators’ liability will be raised from approximately Euros21 million to a minimum of Euros700 million.