When a safety and radiation protection engineer from IRSN joins a group specialising in industrial risk insurance, the result is Bessé Nuclear Solutions. For the past ten years, this unit dedicated to nuclear energy has been a perfect illustration of the strategy of development through specialisation that has made this company of 460 people so successful for the past sixty years. Alexandre Milochevitch, Director of Bessé Nuclear Solutions, tells us about this entity, which has a dozen employees specialising in nuclear risk insurance.
What are Bessé Nuclear Solutions' activities within the nuclear industry?
Bessé Nuclear Solutions offers companies in the French nuclear industry, whatever their size or profession, advice to help them insure their civil liability for their production activities and for the activities they develop for their clients in France and abroad. As in all the sectors covered by the Bessé Group, we do not play the role of a simple broker: we offer complete support to the players in the nuclear sector, which involves first and foremost listening to and analysing their problems, as well as a comprehensive review of all the risks they incur in terms of civil liability. If they need it, we then build tailor-made insurance programmes, before taking charge of negotiations with insurance companies. We then regularly monitor the evolution of our clients' risks, and propose adaptations if necessary. Today, we work with more than 40 companies in the sector, including SMEs, Mid-sized companies, large groups and French subsidiaries of foreign groups.
What is the latest news from Bessé Nuclear Solutions?
Our current situation is marked by three issues: on the one hand, we are seeing a growing demand from many of our clients for greater protection on export projects. Indeed, in the context of the intensification of the HPC project in the United Kingdom and the evolution of the prospects of the French industry in India, many manufacturers are beginning to sign contractual commitments in these countries, and this inevitably generates risks and many questions on how to best insure these new exposures.
Our role as insurance advisor is all the more important for our clients as they are currently faced with an unprecedented tightening of the insurance market with increasing difficulties in covering their activities in the nuclear field, in France but above all internationally, particularly in countries such as China and India.
Bessé Nuclear Solutions is also taking into account cyber risks in civil liability insurance cover; the data of companies in the sector is extremely sensitive, and putting it at risk can put their production activities as well as those of their clients at risk. Thus, many of our clients are now asking us to integrate this type of risk into their insurance systems.
Finally, the increase in the number of major international dismantling projects, particularly in Germany and the United States, is also mobilising the teams at Bessé Nuclear Solutions. The exposures and risks associated with decommissioning are very specific, and generate new issues for both operators and service providers.
What are your prospects for Bessé Nuclear Solutions, both in the short and long term?
This is a multi-faceted sector with risks at several levels: from the production source, i.e. the radiopharmaceutical laboratories that create radioactive drugs to fight cancerous tumours, to the practitioners, the doctors, who use the radioactive materials to treat patients; and, of course, the logistical aspect of the flow of radioactive drugs. Each of the elements in this chain raises important issues in terms of civil liability, and represents a great opportunity for us. Our willingness to take an interest in this area is in line with the Bessé Group's strategy of developing specialisation paths. Our regular presence at the EANM* World leading meeting, which is to nuclear medicine what the WNE is to the electronuclear industry (which we will obviously be attending at the end of the year), bears witness to our interest in this still unexplored sector.
*EANM : European Association of Nuclear Medicine