The European Commission is getting closer to final formulation of a proposal for mandatory disaster insurance for nuclear power plants and expects it to be put up for final legislation next year.

Energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger said on Tuesday that the proposal should be one of the first items on the European Parliament’s agenda following elections in May.

The world’s nuclear power plants have hardly any insurance coverage as up until now governments implicitly guarantee they’ll pay for the bulk of a disaster.

Associated Press reports that in several EU nations, required insurance only covers liabilities of a few hundred million dollars, while a worst-case scenario accident is estimated to cost up to hundreds of billions.

In the U.S., the necessary insurance for nuclear operators is capped at just $375m per plant, with further claims funded by utilities up to a maximum of $12.6 m.

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