The Price-Anderson Act
The Price-Anderson Act is a key piece of legislation for the nuclear industry. The consequences of an attack or an accident at a nuclear power plant are so staggering that insurance companies won't fully insure them. Unfortunately, Congress isn't so cautious. It passed a law in 1957, the Price-Anderson Act, that established a taxpayer-backed insurance scheme for nuclear power.
This law limits the amount of insurance nuclear power plant owners must carry and caps their liability in the event of a catastrophic accident or attack at dollar amounts that fall far, far short of the actual financial consequences that could be incurred. Even nuclear power executives acknowledge that their industry is financially dependent on Price-Anderson to shield nuclear power from free market forces. Congress reauthorized the Price-Anderson subsidy for another 20 years as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.