In connection with the construction of, assembling of, use and operation of, any nuclear reactor now owned or hereafter acquired by it, North Carolina State University is hereby authorized and empowered to procure proper insurance against the hazards of explosion, implosion, radiation and any other special hazards unique to nuclear reactors, including nuclear fuel and all other components thereto. Further, North Carolina State University is authorized to enter into agreements with the United States Atomic Energy Commission prerequisite to licensing by that agency of nuclear reactors and to maintain as a part of such agreement or agreements appropriate insurance in amounts required by the Atomic Energy Commission of nuclear reactor licenses.
To the extent that North Carolina State University shall obtain insurance under the provisions of this section, it is hereby authorized and empowered to waive its governmental immunity from liability for damage to property or injury to or death to persons arising from the assembling, construction of, use and operation of nuclear reactors. Such immunity shall be deemed to have been waived by the act of obtaining such insurance, but only to the extent that North Carolina State University is indemnified by such insurance.
Any contract of insurance purchased pursuant to this section must be issued by a company or corporation duly licensed and authorized to do a business of insurance in this State except to the extent that such insurance may be furnished by or through a governmental agency created for the purpose of insuring against such hazards or through reinsurance pools or associations established to insure against such hazards.
Any person sustaining property damage or personal injury may sue North Carolina State University for damages for injury arising out of the construction, assembly, use or operation of a nuclear reactor on the campus of the University in the Superior Court of Wake County, and to the extent that the University is indemnified by insurance, it shall be no defense to any such action that the University was engaged in the performance of a governmental or discretionary function of the University. In the case of death alleged to have been caused by the assembly, construction, use or operation of such nuclear reactor, the personal representative of the deceased person may bring such action.
Nothing in this section shall in any way affect any other actions which have been or may hereafter be brought under the Tort Claims Act against North Carolina State University, nor shall the provisions of this section in any way abrogate or replace the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. (1969, c. 1023; 1971, c. 1244, s. 10; 1991, c. 636, s. 3; 1993, c. 553, s. 33.)