Practice Relating to Rule 42. Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces

Note: For practice concerning attacks against economic installations such as oil installations and chemical plants, see Rule 8, Section G.
Additional Protocol I
Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
1. Works and installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. Other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations shall not be made the object of attack if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
2. The special protection against attack provided for in paragraph 1 shall cease:
(a) for a dam or a dyke only if it is used for other than its normal function and in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support;
(b) for a nuclear electrical generating station only if it provides electric power in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support;
(c) for other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations only if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support.
3. In all cases, the civilian population and individual civilians shall remain entitled to all the protection accorded them by international law, including the protection of the precautionary measures provided for in Article 57. If the protection ceases and any of the works, installations or military objectives mentioned in paragraph 1 is attacked, all practical precautions shall be taken to avoid the release of the dangerous forces.
4. The High Contracting Parties and the Parties to the conflict are urged to conclude further agreements among themselves to provide additional protection for objects containing dangerous forces. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 56. Article 56 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.42, 25 May 1977, p. 209.
Additional Protocol I
According to Article 85(3)(c) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, “launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects” is a grave breach of the Protocol. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 85(3)(c). Article 85 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 291.
Additional Protocol II
Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides:
Works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 15. Article 15 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Officials Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 138.
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 17 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules provides:
In order to safeguard the civilian population from the dangers that might result from the destruction of engineering works or installations – such as hydro-electric dams, nuclear power stations or dikes – through the releasing of natural or artificial forces, the States or Parties concerned are invited:
(a) to agree, in time of peace, on a special procedure to ensure in all circumstances the general immunity of such works where intended essentially for peaceful purposes:
(b) to agree, in time of war, to confer special immunity, possibly on the basis of the stipulations of Article 16, on works and installations which have not, or no longer have, any connexion with the conduct of military operations.
The preceding stipulations shall not, in any way, release the Parties to the conflict from the obligation to take the precautions required by the general provisions of the present rules, under Articles 8 to 11 in particular. 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 17.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia states that hostilities shall be conducted in compliance with Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina states that hostilities shall be conducted in compliance with Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
According to Article 20(b)(iii) of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, “[l]aunching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects” is a war crime. 
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session, 6 May–26 July 1996, UN Doc. A/51/10, 1996, Article 20(b)(iii).
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 6.8 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states:
The United Nations force shall not make installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, the object of military operations if such operations may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 6.8.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states:
Works and installations containing dangerous forces (dams, dykes, nuclear stations or nuclear power plants) must not be attacked, even if they are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of those forces and cause severe losses among the civilian population. Other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works must not be attacked either if such an attack may cause the release of those dangerous forces. This protection will only cease if these objects are being used as a regular, significant and direct support to military operations, and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.04.
The manual qualifies “attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attacks will cause loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects which are excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated” as grave breaches of IHL. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 8.03.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts, the manual restates the absolute prohibition of attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces as found in Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 7.09.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
933. The works and installations containing dangerous forces are specifically limited to dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations. Even where these objects are military objectives, they shall not be attacked if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequently severe losses amongst the civilian population. The purpose of this rule against such attacks is to avoid excess damage or loss to the civilian population.
934. Military objectives at or in the vicinity of an installation mentioned in paragraph 933 are also immune from attack if the attack might directly cause the release of dangerous forces from that installation in question and subsequent severe losses upon the civilian population.
935. The release of the dangerous forces must have a consequent severe loss among the civilian population. This is an absolute standard rather than the relative one set by the rule of proportionality. If massive civilian losses are foreseeable, the attack would be prohibited regardless of the anticipated military advantage.
936. Loss of Protection. In the case of a dyke or dam, the protection afforded ceases if three special conditions are evident. These are that:
a.it is used for other than its normal function;
b.it is used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations; and
c.an attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support.
937. In relation to nuclear electrical generating stations and other military objectives located in the vicinity, only the conditions in paragraph 936.b and c. apply. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 933–937; see also § 544 (“any such attack would be approved at the highest command level”) and Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, §§ 408, 631 and 962.
The manual further provides that “launching unlawful attacks against installations containing dangerous forces” constitutes a grave breach or a serious war crime likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(j); see also Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1305(j).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
5.49 Dams, dykes and nuclear power stations may not be made the object of an attack if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses amongst the civilian population. This is the position even if such installations are military objectives … In exceptional circumstances, the protection ceases if the installation is used in “regular, significant and direct support of military operations”. In any case, such an attack must be the only feasible way to stop the support, and any such attack would be approved at the highest command level.
9.34 The works or installations containing dangerous forces are specifically limited to dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations. Even where these objects are military objectives, they shall not be attacked if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequently severe losses amongst the civilian population. The purpose of this rule against such attacks is to avoid excess[ive] damage or loss to the civilian population.
9.35 Military objectives at or in the vicinity of an installation mentioned in paragraph 9.34 are also immune from attack if the attack might directly cause the release of dangerous forces from that installation in question and subsequent severe losses upon the civilian population.
9.36 The release of the dangerous forces may have a consequent severe loss among the civilian population. This is an absolute standard rather than the relative one set by the rule of proportionality. If massive civilian losses are foreseeable, the attack would be prohibited regardless of the anticipated military advantage.
9.37 Loss of protection. In the case of a dyke or dam, the protection afforded ceases if three special conditions are evident. These are that:
• it is used for other than its normal function;
• it is used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations; and
• an attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support.
9.38 In relation to nuclear electrical generating stations and other military objectives located in the vicinity, only the last two conditions in paragraph 9.37 apply.
13.26 [The 1977 Additional Protocol I] extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following … acts when committed wilfully, in violation of the relevant provisions of the protocol, and causing death or serious injury to body or health:
• launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 5.49, 9.34–9.38 and 13.26.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states:
Certain objects and buildings must not be attacked. Unless an order to the contrary has been given, they must be avoided. This concerns … certain installations which contain particularly dangerous forces (dams, dykes and nuclear power stations). 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 8; see also p. 22 and slide 6b/2.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) prohibits the use of “means and methods of warfare … that may cause the release of forces which may cause severe losses among the civilian population”. The manual specifically prohibits “attacks against dams, dykes and nuclear power stations whose destruction may release dangerous forces, unless these works and installations are used for other than their normal function and provide an important and direct support to military operations”. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, pp. 27–28.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states that it is prohibited:
to attack dykes, nuclear power plants and dams, if such attack would release dangerous forces which may cause severe losses among the civilian population, unless these works have been used in direct support of military operations or for military purposes and an attack on these objectives is the only way to terminate such use. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 13.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states:
Works and installations containing dangerous forces.
Dams, dykes, nuclear electrical generating stations … may not be attacked even if they constitute military objectives if such an attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the [civilian] population. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 19; see also Part I bis, pp. 6, 9, 36, 39, 46, 58, 68, 87, 88 and 115.
The Regulations also states that “attacking such works may release the particularly dangerous forces which they contain and result in disasters that would not be justified by the military advantage sought”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 88.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) defines installations containing dangerous forces as “dams, dykes and nuclear power stations whose destruction may lead to severe losses among the civilian population” and states that they lose their protection against attack “when they are used as tactical support by the belligerents”. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 20, § 226.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
352.2 – Special protection: (persons and objects specially protected.)
Certain categories of persons and objects benefit from special protection under the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, both in the civilian domain and in the military domain.
352.26 Installations containing dangerous forces
[Such installations refer] to dams, dykes and nuclear power stations whose destruction may lead to severe losses among the civilian population. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 92, § 352.2 and p. 94, § 352.26; see also pp. 134, § 412.2, p. 136, § 412.26 and p. 230, § 543.
The manual also states that “attacks against works or installations containing dangerous forces, knowing that these attacks will cause excessive damage to civilians” constitute grave breaches of IHL. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, pp. 295–296, § 661.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
72. Dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations shall not be attacked, even when they are legitimate targets, if such an attack might cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
73. Other legitimate targets located at or in the vicinity of dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations shall not be attacked if such an attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from those works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
74. The protection that the LOAC provides to dams, dykes, nuclear electrical generating stations, and other legitimate targets in the vicinity of those installations is not absolute. The protection ceases in the following circumstances:
a.for a dam or dyke, only if it is used for other than its normal function and in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support;
b.for a nuclear electrical generating station, only if it provides electric power in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and only if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support; and
c.for other legitimate targets located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations, only if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-8, §§ 72–74.
It also states that “launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive collateral civilian damage” constitutes a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 16-3, § 16(c).
With respect to non-international armed conflicts, the manual restates the absolute prohibition of attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces as found in Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-5, § 39.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
1. Dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations shall not be attacked, even where they are legitimate targets, if such an attack might cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
2. Other legitimate targets located at or near dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations shall not be attacked if such an attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from those works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
3. The protection that the LOAC provides to dams, dykes, nuclear electrical generating stations, and other legitimate targets near those installations is not absolute. The protection ceases in the following circumstances:
a. for a dam or dyke, only if it is used for other than its normal function and in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support;
b. for a nuclear electrical generating station, only if it provides electric power in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and only if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support; and
c. for other legitimate targets located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations, only if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 444.1–3.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual provides that “launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive collateral civilian damage” constitutes a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1608.2.c.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual states:
It is forbidden to attack certain works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, even if they may be regarded as legitimate targets, if such an attack might cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1722.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction): “The following objects enjoy special protection: … works or installations containing dangerous forces (dams, dykes, nuclear power stations).” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section II, § 2.
In Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police), the manual states:
The following prohibitions must be respected:
- attacking dykes, nuclear power stations or dams if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and result in severe losses among the civilian population, unless these works have been used in direct support of military operations or for military purposes and an attack on these objectives is the only way to terminate such use. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that works containing “dangerous forces” have special protection and that “immunity may only be waived in exceptional cases”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 16; see also p. 89.
The manual also states that attacks on “installations containing dangerous forces” is a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and thus a war crime. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 108; see also p. 78.
Colombia
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) considers that “abstaining from attacks against works and installations … containing dangerous forces” is a way to protect the civilian population. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, p. 22, § 2; see also p. 29, § 2(a).
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1. Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what must be protected?
- dams, dykes, nuclear stations.
Lesson 2. Identification
II.2 Persons and objects under special protection
- dams, dykes, nuclear stations. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 14–15, 17 and 19.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
III. 3. Works and installations containing dangerous forces
The law contains a very precise definition of the term “dangerous forces”, which only applies to dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 33.
In Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.2.4. Protection of objects containing dangerous forces
The law contains a very precise definition of the term “dangerous forces”, which only applies to dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations. These installations, as well as military objectives in their vicinity, must not be made the object of attacks if these risk causing the release of dangerous forces likely to lead to catastrophic effects for the civilian population, such as, for example, severe flooding or the release of radioactive materials. The consequences of such an attack could, of course, also have fatal effects on the operations or the troops. …
Furthermore, this protection ceases if the adversaries abuse the protection accorded by the law and use these installations in regular, significant and direct support of their military operations. In such a case, imperative military necessity can perfectly force the troops to neutralize them if there is no other way to stop the abuse. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 31.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.2.2. Works and installations containing dangerous forces
The expression means works (or installations) containing forces which, if released, can cause grave losses among the civilian population. They are mainly dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations. In general, these works must not be made the object of attacks, even if they constitute legitimate military objectives. …
Other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations shall not be made the object of attack if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. …
The protection assured by the LOAC to dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations as well as to other legitimate objectives in the vicinity of these works is not absolute. Protection ceases in the following circumstances:
- for a dam or a dyke only if it is used for other than its normal function and in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support;
- for a nuclear electrical generating station only if it provides electric power in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support;
- for other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations only if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 36–37.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states that “specifically protected objects may not become military objectives and may not be attacked”, including works and installations containing dangerous forces such as dams, dykes and nuclear power plants. 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, §§ 7 and 13; see also § 31 (search for information).
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides:
Dams, dikes, levees, and other installations, which if breached or destroyed would release flood waters or other forces dangerous to the civilian population, should not be bombarded if the potential for harm to noncombatants would be excessive in relation to the military advantage to be gained by bombardment. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.5.1.7.
Ethiopia
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), “dangerous sites such as dams, nuclear or electric power stations” do not constitute military objectives. 
Ethiopia, Standing Rules of Engagement, National Defense Force, Addis Ababa, 2007§ 8.4.9.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “The specific immunity granted to certain persons and objects by the law of war [including works and installations containing dangerous forces] must be strictly observed … They may not be attacked.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, §§ 2.2–2.3.
The Summary Note further specifies:
The immunity of specifically protected objects may only be lifted under certain conditions and under the personal responsibility of the commander. Military necessity justifies only those measures which are indispensable for the accomplishment of the mission. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 2.4.
The Summary Note qualifies “attacks against works and installations containing forces which are dangerous for the civilian population” as a war crime. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 3.4.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) states that “the law of armed conflict grants specific protection to certain specially marked installations and zones”, including certain works and installations containing dangerous forces. 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 5.
The Teaching Note further states: “Dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations are considered to be installations containing dangerous forces and must not be attacked in any circumstances.” 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 6.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001), with reference to Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, includes works and installations containing dangerous forces among objects which are specifically protected by the law of armed conflict. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 31.
The manual further restates the prohibition on attacking dams, dykes and nuclear power plants, and the exceptions thereto, as found in Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and stresses: “A decision to attack such works and installations belongs to the commander whose criminal responsibility is engaged in case the action undertaken is illegal.” 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 69.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
464. Works and installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes, and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
465. This protection shall cease if these works are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and such attack shall be the only feasible way to terminate such use. This shall also apply to other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works and installations.
466. Regular, significant and direct support of military operations comprises, for instance, the manufacture of weapons, ammunition and defence materiel. The mere possibility of use by armed forces is not subject to these provisions.
467. The decision to launch an attack shall be taken on the basis of all information available at the time of action.
469. The parties to the conflict shall remain obliged to take all precautions to protect dangerous works from the effects of attack (e.g. shutting down nuclear electrical generating stations). 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, §§ 464–467 and 469.
The manual further provides that grave breaches of IHL are in particular “launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces (dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations), expecting that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects”. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 1209.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Works and installations containing dangerous forces (dams, dykes, nuclear electrical generating stations) may, as a matter of principle, not be attacked.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 5.
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010), under the heading “Distinctive signs” and in a section on “Dams, dykes, [and] nuclear power plants”, shows a sign consisting of a group of three bright orange circles placed on the same axis and states: “Respect … objects marked with these signs.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 11.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) states that the destruction of works and installations containing dangerous forces “may release forces that could cause severe losses among the civilian population”. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 22.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
One of the additions in the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions (which, as already stated, is not binding on the State of Israel but nevertheless widely accepted as a binding provision) is the prohibition of striking installations which hold back dangerous forces. This refers to installations that might indeed afford the enemy military or strategic benefit, but if damaged would incur such severe environmental damage to the civilian population that it was decided to prohibit their destruction. The section mentions dams, embankments (for protection against floods) and nuclear power stations for generating electricity. It is clear in each of these examples that destruction will indeed reduce the infrastructure of the enemy state (for example, damage to its power supply), however, it will lead to the unleashing of destructive forces, such as the huge flooding of a river or nuclear fallout resulting in tens of thousands of civilian victims, and therefore it is forbidden. In addition, it is imperative to refrain from attacking military targets within such installations or in close proximity to them, if such an attack results in the unleashing of such forces. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, pp. 35–36.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Installations containing dangerous forces: one of the items in the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions (even though the State of Israel is not bound by these protocols, these provisions are considered customary and are consequently binding) is the ban on attacking installations if doing so would damage the environment.
The reference is to installations that are of military or strategic benefit to the enemy, but where attacking them would involve environmental damage of such significance to the civilian population, that it has been determined that such an attack is prohibited. The clause mentions dams, dykes and nuclear power stations. Attacks on such installations have the potential to weaken the enemy (for example, an attack on its electricity supply), but could result, for example, in the massive flooding of a river, nuclear fallout, etc. causing the death of tens of thousands of people, which is why they are forbidden. Attacks on military targets located inside such installations or adjacent to them should also be avoided. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 25.
The manual further states:
In any attack, it is a duty to ensure that:
- The attack will not activate resources whose effects are uncontrollable. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 26.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides that “specifically protected objects may not become military objectives and may not be attacked”, including works and installations containing dangerous forces such as dams, dykes and nuclear power plants. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, §§ 7 and 13; see also § 31 (search for information).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) qualifies “attacks … against installations containing dangerous forces” as war crimes. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 85.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states:
Works and installations containing dangerous forces (dams, nuclear power plants, chemical manufacturing, etc.) are protected by the emblem “ Three bright orange circles”.
IT IS PROHIBITED to carry out hostile acts of any type against works and installations protected by this emblem; your Commanding Officer can legitimately order you to ignore the protection granted to such a work or installation if it is being used by enemy military forces, as long as there is no other way to overcome the enemy resistance and all necessary precautions are taken to avoid or limit possible damage. 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 246.
[emphasis in original]
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) defines a work or installation containing dangerous forces as “a dam, a dyke or nuclear power plant whose attack and consequent destruction may cause the release of dangerous forces and thereby severe losses among the civilian population”. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 12.
The manual states:
Certain property and buildings must also not be attacked except where an order to the contrary has been given. This comprises … certain installations which contain particularly dangerous forces (dams, dykes and nuclear power plants). 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states that “specifically protected objects may not become military objectives and may not be attacked”, including works and installations containing dangerous forces such as dams, dykes and nuclear power plants. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-O, § 7 and Fiche No. 3-O, § 13; see also Fiche No. 3-SO, § H, Fiche No. 2-T, § 27 and Fiche No. 4-T, § 24.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states: “Respect all … objects bearing … signs that protect civilians, buildings and structures, such as dams and dykes, unless you receive orders to the contrary.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(h).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands restates the content of Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and specifies:
The normal function of a dyke is to hold back water or to be prepared for that function. When a dyke is used only to this effect it cannot lose its function, even if it carries a road and has a traffic function and even if that road is occasionally used for military traffic. Protection only ceases if the last two conditions are also fulfilled: significant support for military operations and no other means to terminate such support [than attack]. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-9/V-10, § 8.
The manual further states that “attacking … dams, dykes and nuclear power plants” in violation of IHL constitutes a grave breach. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IX-5.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual restates the content of Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. XI-7, § 6.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “In principle, dams, dykes and nuclear power plants (works and installations containing dangerous forces) must not be made the object of attack.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-44.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Section 6 - Dams, dikes and nuclear power plants
0537. Premise
The premise is that dams, dikes and electric power stations cannot be the target of attack. Even if such objects are, in themselves, military objectives, they cannot be attacked if this would cause a release of dangerous forces and thus heavy loss of life among the civilian population. Such a prohibition applies to attacks on other military objectives which are located on or near dams, dikes and power stations.
0538. In certain circumstances, the protection of these objects from attack is ended. For dams, weirs and dikes, this occurs if they are used:
- other than for their normal purpose; and
- in regular, considerable and direct support of military operations; and
- if the attacks are the only way of ending this support.
Power stations lose their protection if:
- they supply electricity in regular, considerable and direct support of military operations; and
- if the attacks are the only way of ending that support.
A dike’s usual purpose is to hold back water or be ready to do so. If a dike serves exclusively for this purpose, it cannot lose its protection; nor can this happen even if the dike carries a road and thereby also fulfils a transport function, even when that road is used incidentally by military traffic. The protection ceases only if the latter two conditions are met: considerable importance in support of military operations; and no other way of ending that support.
An example which can be quoted from the Second World War is the Allied attack on Walcheren in 1944. The Allied forces experienced major logistical problems while fighting their way through France, Belgium and the Netherlands in the autumn 1944 offensive. The difficulties could be solved only by using the port facilities of Antwerp. To do this, it was necessary to control not only southern Flanders, but also the area to the north of the West Scheldt. This included the Walcheren peninsula, where the Germans had erected powerful defences. These installations were designed specifically to deny access to the West Scheldt. From 3 to 17 October 1944, air attacks were directed at the dikes at Westkappelle, Veere and Flushing and as a result, large tracts of Walcheren were flooded. From late November 1944, the Allies were able to use the port of Antwerp. Viewed together, in present-day legal terms, the air onslaught was not an unlawful attack on the Walcheren dike system because it sought to gain access to the West Scheldt on behalf of the Allied operations in north-western Europe. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0537–0538 and 0540.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
1. Even though they may be military objectives, works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, are not to be attacked if the result of such an attack would be the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. Any other military objective at or in the vicinity of such an installation is also immune from attack if the attack might cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations in question and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
2. The protection afforded to such installations ceases in the case of dykes, dams and all such installations and nearby military objectives “only if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support” and, in the case of dykes and dams, only if they are also being used for other than their normal function.
5. Although parties not accepting [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] are free to disregard this particular protective requirement, [the 1977 Additional Protocol I], confirming customary law, authorizes Parties to agree between themselves on the provision of any additional protection that they might wish to afford such works and installations. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 521; see also § 633 (air to land operations).
The manual qualifies “launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects” as a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1703(3)(c).
With respect to non-international armed conflicts, the manual states:
Reflecting the new approach to technological advances and the dangers that may be inherent in them, it is forbidden to attack certain works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, even if they may be regarded as military objectives, if such an attack might cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1821.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
“Works or installations containing dangerous forces” are dams, dykes and nuclear power stations which, if attacked, could cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
The parties to the conflict are urged to conclude further agreements among themselves to provide additional protection for works and installations containing dangerous forces. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 100.e; see also § 167.c.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states:
“Works or installations containing dangerous forces” are dams, dykes and nuclear power stations which, if attacked, could cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
The parties to the conflict are urged to conclude further agreements among themselves to provide additional protection for works and installations containing dangerous forces. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 91(e), p. 293.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Operational Law Manual (1996) states that attacks against dams, dykes and nuclear power plants are prohibited. 
Republic of Korea, Operational Law Manual, 1996, p. 42.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) states that is prohibited “to launch an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 8(h).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
especially dangerous objects are nuclear power stations, dykes, dams whose destruction may release dangerous destructive factors and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. These objects shall not become the object of attack even when they are military objectives if attacking them may result in the above-mentioned consequences.
An especially dangerous object shall lose its immunity (status) if it provides regular, significant and direct support for the enemy military operations (for dams and dykes, it is only possible if they are used for other than their normal functions), moreover, if such an attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 1; see also § 30 (conduct of combat operations under special conditions).
With regard to internal armed conflict, the Regulations states:
Especially dangerous objects shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 81.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states: “It is forbidden to attack dams.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 19.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides:
The LOAC grants particular protection to the following categories of persons and targets which are termed “protected targets” … Protected places include the following: … installations containing dangerous forces (e.g. dams and nuclear electrical power stations). 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 29(b)(ii); see also § 22.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states: “Protected places include … installations containing dangerous forces (e.g. dams and nuclear electrical power stations).” 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 51(b).
The manual also provides that “[a]ny unlawful attack on a clearly recognised … work or installation containing dangerous forces” is a grave breach of the law of armed conflict and a war crime. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 57.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states:
Dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations must not be the object of attack, even when they are military objectives, if such attack may cause severe losses to the civilian population. Nevertheless, this protection ceases if they are being used in regular, significant and direct support to military operations. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.3.b.(2); see also §§ 1.3.d.(2), 4.5.b.(2)(b) and 7.3.b.(4).
The manual further states that “launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects” constitutes a war crime. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 11.8.b.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Works and installations containing dangerous forces … are protected in view of the serious consequences that their destruction could have for the civilian population. They basically include dams, dykes and nuclear power stations.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 1.3.d.(2).
The manual further states:
Dams, dykes and nuclear power stations must not be made the object of attack, even when they are military objectives, if such an attack may cause severe losses among the civilian population. However, they cease to be protected in this way if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if attacking them is the only feasible way to terminate such support. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.3.b.(2); see also §§ 4.5.b.(2).(b) and 7.3.b.(4).(a).
In addition, the manual states:
Attacks on nuclear power stations supporting enemy operations are only permitted if it is “the only feasible way to terminate such support”.
Attacks on dams and dykes being used for a purpose other than their usual one in support of military operations are permitted if it is “the only feasible way to terminate such support”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.4.c.(6).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Manual (1984) states:
Works and installations containing dangerous forces, such as dams, dykes and nuclear power stations, must not be attacked if such attack may release dangerous forces and cause severe losses among the civilian population. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre, Manuel 51.7/III dfi, Armée suisse, 1984, p. 21.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states:
Installations whose destruction could cause severe losses among the civilian population, because such destruction could release dangerous forces, such as dykes, dams and nuclear power stations, must not be attacked. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 31(1).
The manual further provides that “an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects” constitutes a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 193(1)(c).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states with regard to the protective sign of installations containing dangerous forces:
Correct behaviour
- Object that releases dangerous forces when destroyed (such as dams, embankments and nuclear power stations);
- Use objects for their intended purpose only;
- Protect objects against destruction through attack.
Prohibited is/are …
- Damage an object to such a degree that dangerous forces are released and subsequently threaten civilians;
- Use of an object for something other than its original purpose (e.g. abuse for combat support). 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Chart of Protective Signs.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
14 Protected objects
14.3 Installations containing dangerous forces
211 Works and installations containing dangerous forces, such as dams, dykes and nuclear power plants, may not be made the object of attack, even when they are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
214 Protecting and defending the installations mentioned above against acts of sabotage, terrorist attacks or unjustified intrusion are permitted. In such an event, the installations maintain their protected status, i.e. they do not become a legitimate military objective.
15 Methods of warfare
15.2 Prohibited methods of warfare
225 Indiscriminate attacks, i.e. attacks which cannot distinguish between protected persons/objects and military objectives, as well as attacks directed against protected persons/objects or acts of revenge are prohibited in any place and at any time.
17 Sanctions for violations of the international law of armed conflict
17.1 General provisions
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … harmful acts against internationally protected persons and objects[.] 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 211, 214, 225 and 237.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states that it is prohibited
to attack dykes, nuclear power plants and dams, if such attack would release dangerous forces which may cause severe losses among the civilian population, unless these works have been used in direct support of military operations or for military purposes and an attack on these objectives is the only way to terminate such use. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 13.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Objects protected by international humanitarian law [include] ‘objects of particular danger’ [works and installations containing dangerous forces] … Attacks against such objects shall be prohibited.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.51.
The manual further states:
1.2.47. Objects of particular danger (works or installations containing dangerous forces) are: nuclear electrical generating stations, dams, dykes and so on. The destruction of such objects may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
An object of particular danger loses its protection (status) … if:
- due to the change of the regime of its normal functioning regular, significant and direct support of military operations of the enemy is performed; and
- if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support.
Stripping objects of particular danger of their protection shall be viewed as an extraordinary measure, the commander (commanding officer) must take all practical precautionary measures to prevent the release of dangerous forces.
1.8.5. Serious violations of international humanitarian law directed against people include:
- attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such an attack will cause excessive loss of life to civilians or severe damage to civilian objects. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.2.47 and 1.8.5; see also §§ 1.2.51 and 2.3.5.2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states that it is prohibited “to attack dykes, nuclear power stations or dams if to do so would cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population, unless they are used in direct support of military operations or for military purposes”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 15, § 5(i).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
5.30. Dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations “shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.” “Other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations shall not be made the object of attack if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.”
5.30.3. The United Kingdom, on ratification of Additional Protocol I, declared that:
The United Kingdom cannot undertake to grant absolute protection to installations which may contribute to the opposing Party’s war effort, or to the defenders of such installations, but will take due precautions in military operations at or near the installation … in the light of the known facts, including any special markings which the installation may carry, to avoid severe collateral losses among the civilian population; direct attacks on such installations will be launched only on authorisation at a high level of command.
5.30.4. Attacks only become unlawful if they may result in the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population …
5.30.5. In certain exceptional circumstances the protection afforded to dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations ceases:
a. “for a dam or dyke only if it is used for other than its normal function and in regular, significant and direct support of military operations”;
b. “for a nuclear electrical generating station only if it provides electric power in regular, significant and direct support of military operations”;
c. “for other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of” dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations “only if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations”;
and, in the case of a, b, and c, “if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 5.30 and 5.30.3–5.30.5.
With regard to internal armed conflict, the manual states:
15.21. In accordance with the general principles of targeting set out above, objects such as dams, dykes, and nuclear power stations which contain forces, the escape of which would be likely to endanger the civilian population, may only be attacked if they (a) constitute military objectives and (b) care is taken to minimize the risk to the civilian population. The latter requirement is of special importance with such targets because of the danger that they can pose.
15.21.1. The protection given to these objects in international conflicts is much more detailed. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict , Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 15.21–15.21.1.
With regard to internal armed conflicts in which the 1977 Additional Protocol II is applicable, the manual specifies:
15.51. It is forbidden to attack dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations “even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population”.
15.51.1. This would not, however, prevent an attack on a nuclear, chemical or bacteriological research centre, even though such an attack might release dangerous forces, provided that the attack was not made illegal by some other provision of the Protocol. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 15.51–15.51.1.
In its chapter on enforcement of the law of armed conflict, the manual notes:
Additional Protocol I extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following:
b. any of the following acts, when committed wilfully, in violation of the relevant provisions of the protocol, and causing death or serious injury to body or health:
(3) launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.25.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
In view of the general immunity of the civilian population and civilian objects and the requirement of precautions to minimize injury or damage to them, many states have urged a rule absolutely prohibiting attacks upon works and installations containing “dangerous forces”, such as water held by a dam or radioactive material from a nuclear generating station, if the attack would release such dangerous forces. The United States has not accepted that such a rule, prohibiting attacks on works and installations containing dangerous forces, exists absolutely if, under the circumstances at the time, they are lawful military objectives. Of course their destruction must not cause excessive injury to civilians or civilian objects. Under some circumstances attacks on objects such as dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations may result in distinct and substantial military advantage depending upon the military uses of such objects. Injury to civilians may be nonexistent or at least not excessive in relation to the military advantage anticipated. However, there are clearly special concerns that destruction of such objects may unleash forces causing widespread havoc and injury far beyond any military advantage secured or anticipated. Target selection of such objects is accordingly a matter of national decision at appropriate high policy levels. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-3(d).
United States of America
The US Air Force Commander’s Handbook (1980) states:
Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions restricts attack against dams, dikes, and nuclear power stations, if “severe” civilian losses might result from flooding or radioactivity. While the United States is not yet a party to this protocol, such attacks may be politically sensitive. Consult the Staff Judge Advocate for the exact status and provisions of Protocol I and the exceptions to its rules (see also paragraph 3-8 [collateral damage] …). 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-34, Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Armed Conflict, Judge Advocate General, US Department of the Air Force, 25 July 1980, § 2-3(c).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states:
Dams, dikes, levees, and other installations, which if breached or destroyed would release flood waters or other forces dangerous to the civilian population, should not be bombarded if the potential for harm to noncombatants would be excessive in relation to the military advantage to be gained by bombardment. Conversely, installations containing such dangerous forces that are used by belligerents to shield or support military activities are not so protected. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 8.5.1.7; see also § 8.1.2.
United States of America
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997) states:
Attacks on [works and installations containing dangerous forces] are, of course, subject to the rule of proportionality … The practice of nations has previously indicated great restraint in the attacks of dams and dikes, the breach of which would cause such severe civilian losses … See, however, the U.K. destruction of the Ruhr dams during WW II … For an example of U.S. application of this principle in the Vietnam conflict, see President Nixon’s news conference of 27 July 1972. 
United States, Annotated Supplement to the Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, prepared by the Oceans Law and Policy Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, November 1997, § 8.5.1.7, footnote 125.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
Dams, dikes, levees, and other installations, which if breached or destroyed would release flood waters or other forces dangerous to the civilian population, should not be bombarded if the anticipated harm to civilians would be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage to be gained by bombardment. Conversely, installations containing such dangerous forces that are used by belligerents to shield or support military activities are not so protected. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.9.1.7.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) restates the content of Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 76.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993), under the heading “Distinctive signs” and in a section on “Dams, dykes, nuclear power plants”, shows a sign consisting of a group of three bright orange circles placed on the same axis and states: “Respect … objects marked with such signs.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 12.
Armenia
Under Armenia’s Penal Code (2003), launching, during an armed conflict, an “attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause loss of life to civilians or damage to civilian objects excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated” constitutes a crime against the peace and security of mankind. 
Armenia, Penal Code, 2003, Article 390.3(3).
Australia
Australia’s Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 2002, provides that “a person who, in Australia or elsewhere, commits a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence”. 
Australia, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 2002, Section 7(1).
The grave breaches provisions in this Act were removed in 2002 and incorporated into the Criminal Code Act 1995.
Australia
Australia’s Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act (1987), as amended to 2007, states:
A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person does an act that is directed against a nuclear facility or that interferes with the operation of a nuclear facility; and
(b) the person does so intending that the act will cause, or knowing that the act is likely to cause:
(i) the death of, or serious injury to, any person; or
(ii) substantial damage to property or to the environment;
by exposure to radiation or by the release of radioactive substances.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 20 years. 
Australia, Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act, 1987, as amended to 2007, Part III, § 35A, p. 32.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with regard to war crimes that are grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I:
268.97 War crimeattack against works or installations containing dangerous forces resulting in excessive loss of life or injury to civilians
A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator launches an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces; and
(b) the attack is such that it will cause loss of life, injury to civilians, or damage to civilian objects, to such an extent as to be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated; and
(c) the perpetrator knows that the attack will cause loss of life, injury to civilians, or damage to civilian objects, to such an extent; and
(d) the attack results in death or serious injury to body or health; and
(e) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for life. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.97, pp. 370–371.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the list of war crimes in the Criminal Code grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including “attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces resulting in excessive loss of life or injury to civilians”. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.97.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “directing attacks against installations which may cause severe damage to civilian objects or severe losses among the civilian population” constitutes a war crime in international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 116(12).
Belarus
Belarus’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that it is a war crime to “launch an attack against works and installations containing dangerous forces, in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilians”. 
Belarus, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 136(12).
Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
23. launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces, in the knowledge that such attack will cause loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(23).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols (1993), as amended in 1999, provides that it is a crime under international law to launch
an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces, in the knowledge that such attack will cause loss of human life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, without prejudice to the criminal nature of an attack whose harmful effects, even where proportionate to the military advantage anticipated, would be inconsistent with the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience. 
Belgium, Law concerning the Repression of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, 1993, as amended in 1999, Article 1(3)(13).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
13. launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces, in the knowledge that such attack will cause loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(13).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), it is a war crime to order that “an attack be launched against … objects and facilities with dangerous power, such as dams, embankments and nuclear power stations” or to carry out such an attack. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 154(2).
The Republika Srpska’s Criminal Code (2000) contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Article 433(2).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) contains the following war crimes provision:
Whoever, in violation of the rules of international law in time of war or armed conflict, orders or perpetrates any of the following acts:
a) Attacks against objects specifically protected by international law, as well as against objects and facilities with dangerous power, such as dams, embankments and nuclear power stations;
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years or long-term imprisonment. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 173(2)(a).
Canada
Canada’s Geneva Conventions Act (1985), as amended in 2007, provides: “Every person who, whether within or outside Canada, commits a grave breach [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I] … is guilty of an indictable offence.” 
Canada, Geneva Conventions Act, 1985, as amended in 2007, Section 3(1).
Colombia
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000), under the heading “Attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces”, provides for the punishment of anyone “who, at the occasion and during armed conflict, without any justification based on imperative military necessity, attacks dams, dykes, electrical or nuclear power stations or other installations containing dangerous forces, which are clearly marked with the conventional signs”. The Code provides for even harsher punishment in case such attack should lead to important losses or damage. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Article 157.
Cook Islands
The Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act (2002) of the Cook Islands punishes “any person who in the Cook Islands or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”. 
Cook Islands, Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols Act, 2002, Section 5(1).
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), “the launching of an attack … against works and installations containing dangerous forces, such as dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations” is a war crime. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 158(2).
Croatia
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), as amended to 2006, states that a war crime is committed by “whoever violates the rules of international law in time of war, armed conflict or occupation by ordering [or committing] an attack against … works or powerful installations such as dams, dykes and nuclear power plants”. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, as amended to 2006, Article 158(2).
Cyprus
Cyprus’s Additional Protocol I Act (1979) punishes “any person who, whatever his nationality, commits in the Republic or outside the Republic any grave breach of the provisions of the Protocol, or takes part or assists or incites another person in the commission of such a breach”. 
Cyprus, Additional Protocol I Act, 1979, Section 4(1).
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1999, provides for the punishment of “a commander who, contrary to the provisions of international law on means and methods of warfare, intentionally: … (c) destroys or damages a water dam, a nuclear power plant or a similar facility containing dangerous forces”. 
Czech Republic, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1999, Article 262(2)(c).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Penal Code (2002) provides:
Article 165
Crimes against humanity are grave violations of international humanitarian law committed against any civilian population before or during war.
Crimes against humanity are not necessarily linked to the state of war and can be committed not only between persons of different nationality, but even between subjects of the same State.
Article 166
The grave breaches listed hereafter, affecting, by action or omission, the persons and objects protected by the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977, constitute crimes against humanity, repressed according to the provisions of the present Code, without prejudice to more severe penal provisions provided by the ordinary Penal Code:
12. Launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous substances in the knowledge that such attack will cause loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated;
Article 167
The offences contained in the preceding article are punished with penal servitude for life.
If those contained in points 1, 2, 5, 6, 10 to 14 of the same article lead to the death or cause grave injury to the physical integrity or health of one or several persons, the perpetrators are liable to the death penalty. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Penal Code, 2002, Articles 165–167.
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “attacking structures or installations containing dangerous forces” is a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 95.
Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Article 270.- War Crimes against the Civilian Population.
Whoever, in time of war, armed conflict or occupation organizes, orders or engages in, against the civilian population and in violation of the rules of public international law and of international humanitarian conventions:
(o) attacking dams, dykes, and nuclear electrical generating stations, if their attack causes the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population …
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to twenty-five years, or, in more serious cases, with life imprisonment or death. 
Ethiopia, Criminal Code, 2004, Article 270.
Georgia
Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “wilful breaches of norms of humanitarian law committed in an international or internal armed conflict, i.e. … (c) launching an attack against works and installations containing dangerous forces, in the knowledge that it will cause loss among civilians and damage of civilian objects” are punishable crimes against IHL. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 411(1)(c).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) provides for the punishment of anyone who, “in connection with an international armed conflict or with an armed conflict not of an international character, … directs an attack by military means against … works and installations containing dangerous forces”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 11(1)(2).
Hungary
Under Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, “a military commander who, in violation of the rules of international law concerning warfare, carries out military operations which result in heavy damage to … facilities containing dangerous forces” commits a war crime. 
Hungary, Criminal Code, 1978, as amended in 1998, Section 160(a).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 3(1).
The Act adds that any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 56, as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 15, are also punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Jordan
Jordan’s Military Penal Code (2002) states that the following shall be deemed a war crime when committed in the event of armed conflict:
Intentionally directing attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects. 
Jordan, Military Penal Code, 2002, Article 41(a)(11).
Lithuania
Under Lithuania’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1998, “a military attack against an object posing a great threat to the environment and people – a nuclear plant, a dam, a storage facility of hazardous substances or other similar object – knowing that it might have extremely grave consequences” constitutes a war crime. 
Lithuania, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1998, Article 337.
Netherlands
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, it is a crime, during an international armed conflict, to commit
the following acts, when they are committed intentionally and in violation of the relevant provisions of Additional Protocol (I) and cause death or serious injury to body or health: … launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces, in the knowledge that such an attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(2)(c)(iii).
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Geneva Conventions Act (1958), as amended in 1987, provides:
Any person who in New Zealand or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach … of [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] is guilty of an indictable offence. 
New Zealand, Geneva Conventions Act, 1958, as amended in 1987, Section 3(1).
Niger
Niger’s Penal Code (1961), as amended in 2003, contains a list of war crimes committed against persons and objects protected under the 1949 Geneva Conventions or their Additional Protocols of 1977, including “attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces knowing that this attack will cause loss of human lives, injuries to civilians or damage to civilian objects which would be excessive in relation to the concrete or direct military advantage expected”. 
Niger, Penal Code, 1961, as amended in 2003, Article 208.3(13).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Norway
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states:
Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … directs an attack against … buildings [or] material … which are entitled under international law to use one of the specially protected distinctive emblems of the [1949] Geneva Conventions and [1977] Additional Protocols or any other means of identification indicating that they are protected under the Geneva Conventions. 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 105(b).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
A member of the military or police shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than eight and no more than 15 years if he or she in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict:
2. Directs an attack by any means against … works or installations containing dangerous forces. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 95(2).
This article is no longer in force. Along with certain other articles in this legislation, it was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (en banc decision for case file No. 0012-2006-PI-TC, 8 January 2007) because it does not stipulate a crime committed in the line of duty that would fall under the jurisdiction of a military court pursuant to Article 173 of Peru’s Constitution.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010) states:
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than six years and not more than twenty-five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she:
2. Attacks by any means civilian objects, provided that they are protected as such under International Humanitarian Law, in particular … establishments or installations likely to emit any kind of dangerous energy. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 91(2).
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of “[d]irecting attacks … against works and installations containing dangerous forces such as a dam” in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 13(1)(2).
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states that ordering or committing an attack against “installations and facilities with dangerous forces, such as dams, dykes and nuclear power plants”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 372(2).
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states:
2. Grave breaches of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions and the [1977] First [Additional] Protocol.
(1) A person of whatever nationality commits an offence if that person, whether within or outside Sierra Leone[,] commits, aids, abets or procures any other person to commit a grave breach specified in –
(e) … paragraph … 3 … of Article 85 of the First Protocol [on, inter alia, the grave breach of launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects, as defined in Article 57(2)(a)(iii) of the Protocol]. 
Sierra Leone, Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 2(1)(e).
Slovakia
Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, provides for the punishment of “a commander who, contrary to the provisions of international law on means and methods of warfare, intentionally: … (c) destroys or damages a dam, a nuclear power plant or a similar facility containing dangerous forces”. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended, Article 262(2)(c).
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), “an attack … on buildings and facilities, an attack on which would be particularly dangerous, such as dams, levees and nuclear power plants,” is a war crime. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 374(2).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) provides for the punishment of
anyone who, in the event of armed conflict, should … attack … those installations that contain dangerous forces when such actions may produce the liberation of these forces and cause, as a result, considerable losses among the civilian population, except in the case that such installations are regularly used in direct support of military operations and that such attacks are the only feasible means of ending such support. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 613(1)(d).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2010, states:
1. Anyone who in the event of an armed conflict commits or orders to be committed any of the following acts shall be punished with four to six years’ imprisonment:
f. Attacking … works and installations containing dangerous forces, if such attacks may cause the release of such forces and cause, as a result, considerable losses among the civilian population, except in the case that such works or installations are regularly used in significant and direct support of military operations and that such attacks are the only feasible means of ending such support;
2. … In all other cases mentioned in the above article, the higher sentence can be imposed when extensive and important destructions are caused to the property, objects or installations or [the acts] are of extreme gravity. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, as amended on 23 June 2010, Article 613(1)(f) and (2).
Sweden
Sweden’s Penal Code (1962), as amended in 1998, provides:
A person guilty of a serious violation of a treaty or agreement with a foreign power or an infraction of a generally recognised principle or tenet relating to international humanitarian law concerning armed conflicts shall be sentenced for crime against international law to imprisonment for at most four years. Serious violations shall be understood to include:
(5) initiating an attack against establishments or installations which enjoy special protection under international law. 
Sweden, Penal Code, 1962, as amended 1998, Chapter 22, § 6.
Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998), in the section on “Serious violations of international humanitarian law”, provides for the punishment of “wilful breaches of norms of international humanitarian law committed in an international or non-international armed conflict, i.e. … launching an attack against works and installations containing dangerous forces”. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 403(1).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Geneva Conventions Act (1957), as amended in 1995, punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside the United Kingdom, commits, or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of, a grave breach of … [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”. 
United Kingdom, Geneva Conventions Act, 1957, as amended in 1995, Section 1(1).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
40. Launching attacks against works or installations containing dangerous forces knowing that such attacks will cause deaths or injuries amongst the civilian population or damage to civilian objects (dams, dykes, nuclear power stations, etc.). 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2 and 26.3.40.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
According to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, “the launching of an attack on … facilities and installations containing dangerous forces including dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations” is a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 142(2).
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Geneva Conventions Act (1981), as amended in 1996, punishes “any person, whatever his nationality, who, whether in or outside Zimbabwe, commits any such grave breach of … [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”. 
Zimbabwe, Geneva Conventions Act, 1981, as amended in 1996, Section 3(1).
Colombia
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
International humanitarian law, in its treaty and customary form applicable in internal armed conflicts, provides for special protection to certain categories of persons and property particularly vulnerable to the effects of war. The main categories of persons specially protected [include] … installations containing dangerous forces. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, pp. 119–120.
Russian Federation
In 1995, in its judgment in the Situation in Chechnya case, the Russian Federation’s Constitutional Court recognized the applicability of the 1977 Additional Protocol II to the conflict in Chechnya. While noting that amendments to domestic legislation to ensure its application had not been adopted, the Court stated: “Nevertheless, provisions of [the 1977 Additional Protocol II] regarding … protection … of … installations and structures containing dangerous forces … are binding on both parties to the armed conflict.” 
Russian Federation, Constitutional Court, Situation in Chechnya case, Judgment, 31 July 1995, § 5.
Angola
According to the Report on the Practice of Angola, during the civil war in Angola both governmental forces and the União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) violated Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II by treating dams as military targets. 
Report on the Practice of Angola, 1998, Chapter 1.9.
Botswana
According to the Report on the Practice of Botswana, Botswana will comply with Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I in the event of an armed conflict. 
Report on the Practice of Botswana, 1998, Chapter 1.9.
The report further recalls that Botswana has ratified the 1977 Additional Protocol II and states, on the basis of an interview with a retired army general, that the armed forces of Botswana would comply with the obligations under Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II if the situation arose. 
Report on the Practice of Botswana, 1998, Interview with a retired army general, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.9.
Brazil
The Report on the Practice of Brazil states that Brazil has ratified the 1977 Additional Protocols I and II and, therefore, “the protection afforded by the Protocols to certain works and installations is binding for Brazil”. 
Report on the Practice of Brazil, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
China
According to the Report on the Practice of China, any attack intended to destroy the banks or dams of a river with the aim of using the dangerous forces contained therein to gain a military advantage should be condemned. The report recounts how, in 1938, the Nationalist government decided to bomb a dam on the Yellow River to use the water to halt Japanese offensives. Although the Japanese troops were forced to retreat, the floods caused many casualties and severe damage among civilians. The Communist government subsequently condemned this method of warfare. 
Report on the Practice of China, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
Colombia
In reaction to an article in the press, the Office of the Human Rights Adviser of the Presidency of the Colombian Republic stated:
In the example of the dam cited by the author of the article in La Prensa, it is very clear that government troops may attack it in order to dislodge the guerrillas. However, the crux of the matter is how this should be done to ensure that the attack, which is otherwise lawful, does not cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. Obviously, it would not occur to any sensible military officer to bomb the position with high-power explosives which would destroy the dam wall and cause a deluge that would sweep away the inhabitants of the basin of the tributary feeding the dam. 
Colombia, Presidency, Office of the Human Rights Adviser, Comments on the article published in La Prensa by Pablo E. Victoria on the 1977 Additional Protocol II, undated, § 5, reprinted in Congressional record concerning the enactment of Law 171 of 16 December 1994.
Egypt
According to the Report on the Practice of Egypt, Egypt believes that works and installations containing dangerous forces, such as dams, dykes and power stations, are protected as long as they are used for peaceful purposes. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
El Salvador
According to the Report on the Practice of El Salvador, El Salvador deems itself bound by the 1977 Additional Protocol II and specifically by the prohibition on attacks targeting dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, even when these structures are military objectives. In the case of non-international armed conflicts, the report, on the basis of Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, mentions the two main requirements for the prohibition of attacks on works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely the release of dangerous forces and the consequent severe losses among the civilian population. 
Report on the Practice of El Salvador, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
Finland
In 1977, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, Finland noted that Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I contained important and timely principles that should be respected under all circumstances. However, it found the text tangled with ambiguities owing to concessions made to military requirements. 
Finland, Statement before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.17, 13 October 1977, § 19.
France
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, France declared:
The Government of the French Republic cannot guarantee absolute protection to works and installations containing dangerous forces, which may contribute to the opposing Party’s war effort, or to the defenders of such installations, but will take all necessary precautions, pursuant to Articles 56, 57(2)(a)(iii) and 85(3)(c) [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I], to avoid severe collateral losses among the civilian population, including during possible direct attacks against such works and installations. 
France, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 11 April 2001, § 15.
Germany
In 1981, in reply to a question in Parliament on the legal status of nuclear power plants, the German Government stated that these plants were only used for peaceful purposes in Germany and therefore enjoyed the status of civilian objects and were protected as such. The government stated that this protection was underlined in Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Answer by the government to a written question, BT-Drucksache 9/327, 10 April 1981, p. 3.
Germany
The Report on the Practice of Germany states:
Official correspondence among the responsible ministries reveals that nuclear power plants are seen to be protected under customary international law, insofar as:
–nuclear power plants are civilian objects
–no party to an armed conflict has an unlimited right in its choice of means of warfare
–every attack has to be seen in the light of the proportionality principle and this principle also has to be applied in cases where the nuclear power plant is used for military purposes. 
Report on the Practice of Germany, 1997, Chapter 1.9 (source not quoted).
Indonesia
According to the Report on the Practice of Indonesia, Indonesia considers that installations containing dangerous forces cannot be attacked as long as they are not used for military purposes. 
Report on the Practice of Indonesia, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
Iraq
In 1996, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Iraq reported that “a number of United States warplanes dropped 10 heat flares in the Saddam Dam area of Ninawa Governorate in northern Iraq” and requested the Secretary-General “to intervene with the Government of the United States with a view to halting these acts of aggression against Iraqi civilian installations committed in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law”. 
Iraq, Letter dated 14 August 1996 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/1996/657, 14 August 1996.
Iraq
According to the Report on the Practice of Iraq, “the duty to refrain from striking installations containing dangerous forces is considered an important principle, as great dangers may result as a consequence of striking them”. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Chapter 1.9.
The report refers to a letter from the President of Iraq to the World Association for Peace and Life against Nuclear War in 1983 which stated:
Iraq believes that an attack directed against peaceful nuclear installations by conventional weapons is tantamount to an attack by nuclear weapons, as the consequences of such an attack lead to the danger of exposure to radiation. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Chapter 1.9, referring to Letter dated 26 June 1983 from the President of the Republic of Iraq to the World Association for Peace and Life against Nuclear War.
Islamic Republic of Iran
The Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran refers to a military communiqué according to which the Iranian Air Force had bombarded the power station of Ducan dam in reprisal for Iraqi attacks on Iranian economic installations. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.9, referring to Military Communiqué No. 2234; see also Military Communiqué No. 3268.
The report notes that, in response to Iraqi and foreign press reports, the Islamic Republic of Iran denied that it had attacked a nuclear plant in Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War. Instead, the Islamic Republic of Iran objected to Iraqi attacks on the Bushehr nuclear plant. According to the report, the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the protection of nuclear plants to be part of customary international law and attacks on buildings containing nuclear energy to be war crimes. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapters 1.9 and 6.5.
Israel
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, decisions concerning attacks on installations containing dangerous forces are mainly based on whether the installations serve a direct or indirect military advantage and on the principle of proportionality. The report points out that Israel has not concluded any bilateral or multilateral agreements with neighbouring States concerning works and installations containing dangerous forces, although one possible exception could be paragraph 3 of the “Grapes of Wrath Understanding” of 26 June 1996, which prohibits attacks against “civilian populated areas, industrial and electrical installations”. The report further notes that the potential result of an attack on such works or installations on a civilian population or object will be factored in from the pre-attack planning phase. The attack will not be launched if the damage, loss or injury to civilians is expected to be excessive in relation to the possible military advantage.  
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
Japan
The Report on the Practice of Japan notes that “there are no laws and regulations, judicial precedent nor explanation at the Diet” with respect to the protection of works and installations containing dangerous forces. 
Report on the Practice of Japan, 1998, Chapter 1.9.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan finds no evidence of attacks by Jordan on works and installations containing dangerous forces and concludes that a prohibition on doing so exists. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
Pakistan
The Report on the Practice of Pakistan notes that Pakistan condemned the Israeli attack on a nuclear reactor near Baghdad. The report further points out that, in response to rumours that India was planning an attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities, the Pakistani Government took “a very stern position” on this subject. It also notes that, during the wars of 1965 and 1971, the Pakistani armed forces “refrained from striking against installations containing dangerous forces”. The report concludes, therefore, that Pakistan’s opinio juris favours “the protection of installations containing dangerous forces during conflict”. 
Report on the Practice of Pakistan, 1998, Chapter 1.9.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Civilian objects
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and Military objectives, prohibiting acts of violence against the former. Other provisions provide special protection for certain specific civilian objects, some of which are expected to bear distinctive signs: … works and installations containing dangerous forces (e.g. nuclear power stations and dams). Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 12.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1986, in reply to a question in the House of Lords, the UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement declared:
Existing laws of war already impose restrictions on attacks on [nuclear] installations which would pose a particular threat to civilian populations and require a balance to be struck between the military advantage and the danger of collateral damage to the civilian population. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Hansard, 10 June 1986, Vol. 476, col. 112.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, in reply to a question in the House of Lords concerning “the position in international law relating to the use of ‘conventional’ weapons against (a) nuclear facilities, (b) chemical weapons plants and dumps, and (c) petrochemical enterprises situated in towns or cities, when such use may release radioactivity, toxic chemicals, or firestorms, on a scale comparable to the use of nuclear, chemical, and other weapons deemed to be weapons of mass destruction,” the UK Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
International law requires that, in planning an attack on any military objective, account is taken of certain principles. These include the principles that civilian losses, whether of life or property, should be avoided or minimised so far as practicable, and that an attack should not be launched if it can be expected to cause civilian losses which would be disproportionate to the military advantage expected from the attack as a whole. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement of the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 4 February 1991, Vol. 525, Written Answers, col. 37.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1993, in reply to a question in the House of Lords as to whether the bombing of nuclear facilities in Iraq was concordant with international law, the UK Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote that “the then Prime Minister condemned the Israeli bombing of Iraqi nuclear facilities as a grave breach of international law”. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Reply of the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 31 March 1993, Vol. 544, Written Answers, col. 53.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, the UK Secretary of State for Defence, responding to questions in the Defence Committee concerning the United Kingdom’s participation in bombing nuclear reactors during the Gulf War, declared that the attack was undertaken “with the very greatest care and after the most detailed planning to minimise the risk of any contamination or the risk of any radiation spreading outside the site”. He went on to say that he was “not aware of any evidence that there was a risk of any contamination outside the site which would tend to suggest that those were very precise and very carefully planned attacks”. 
United Kingdom, Statement by Secretary of Defence before the Defence Committee, Minutes of evidence, 6 March 1991, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the United Kingdom stated with respect to Articles 56 and 85(3)(c):
The United Kingdom cannot undertake to grant absolute protection to installations which may contribute to the opposing Party’s war effort, or to the defenders of such installations, but will take all due precautions in military operations at or near the installations referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 56 in the light of the known facts, including any special marking which the installation may carry, to avoid severe collateral losses among the civilian population; direct attacks on such installations will be launched only on authorisation at a high level of command. 
United Kingdom, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 28 January 1998, § n.
United States of America
It is reported that during the Korean War, the US air force regularly targeted dams in order to flood transport routes and other communications lines. 
Robert F. Futrell, The United States Air Force in Korea 1950–1953, Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C., Revised edition, 1983, pp. 668–669.
United States of America
It is reported that during the Vietnam War in 1972, the United States planned to attack a hydroelectric plant at Lang Chi, which was estimated to supply up to 75 per cent of Hanoi’s industrial and defence needs. If the dam at the site were breached, as many as 23,000 civilians could have died in the resultant flooding. The US President’s military advisers estimated that if laser-guided bombs were used, there was a 90 per cent chance of the mission being accomplished without breaching the dam. On that basis, the US President authorized the attack, which destroyed the electricity generating plant without breaching the dam. 
W. Hays Parks, “Air War and the Law of War”, The Air Force Law Review, Vol. 32, 1990, pp. 168–169.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State stated: “We do not support the provisions of Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, concerning dams, dykes, and nuclear power stations … nor do we consider them to be customary law.” 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 427.
With respect to the apparent inconsistency between the US rejection of the provisions in Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and the simultaneous acceptance of Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, he stated:
The United States military based its objections on a pragmatic, real-world estimation of the difference between the two situations. The military perceives that in international conflicts, many situations may arise where it is important to attack and destroy parts of an electric power grid, such as a nuclear or hydroelectric generating station. In internal conflicts, on the other hand, such a significant real-world need will not exist. Preserving the military option in international conflicts where such facilities are more likely to become an object of military attack, therefore, is very important. 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 434.
The Deputy Legal Adviser further stressed:
All other rules of war designed for the protection of civilian populations, such as the rule of proportionality and the rule of reasonable precautions and advanced warning, govern these attacks [against works and installations containing dangerous forces]. The United States maintains the position that it cannot accept the almost total prohibition on such attacks contained in article 56. In any case, in situations where the United States military targets a part of the power grid connected to a hydroelectric or nuclear facility, the United States would have to consider the possible effects on the civilian population and strive to obtain its military objective in ways that would not inflict drastic effects on that population. 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 434.
United States of America
In 1987, the Legal Adviser of the US Department of State stated:
Article 56 of Protocol I is designed to protect dams, dikes, and nuclear power plants against attacks that could result in “severe” civilian losses. As its negotiating history indicates, this article would protect objects that would be considered legitimate military objectives under customary international law.
Attacks on such military objectives would be prohibited if “severe” civilian casualties might result from flooding or release of radiation. The negotiating history throws little light on what level of civilian losses would be “severe”. It is clear, however, that under this article, civilian losses are not to be balanced against the military value of the target. If severe losses would result, then the attack is forbidden, no matter how important the target. It also appears that article 56 forbids any attack that raises the possibility of severe civilian losses, even though considerable care is take to avoid them.
Paragraph 2 of article 56 provides for the termination of protection, but only in limited circumstances. If it is once conceded that a particular dam, dike, or nuclear power station is entitled to protection under article 56, that protection can only end if it is used “in regular, significant, and direct support of military operations”. In the case of nuclear power plants, this support must be in the form of “electric power”. The negotiating history refers to electric power for “production of arms, ammunition, and military equipment” as removing a power plant’s protection, but not “production of civilian goods which may also be used by the armed forces”. The Diplomatic Conference thus neglected the nature of modern integrated power grids, where it is impossible to say that electricity from a particular plant goes to a particular customer. It is also unreasonable for article 56 to terminate the protection of nuclear power plants only on the basis of the use of their electric power. Under this provision, a nuclear power plant that is being used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons purposes would not lose its protection. 
United States, Remarks of Judge Abraham D. Sofaer, Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, pp. 468–469.
United States of America
In 1991, in response to an ICRC memorandum on the applicability of IHL in the Gulf region, the US Department of the Army stated:
While the U.S. shares the concern expressed in Article 56 of Protocol I regarding carrying out an attack against a target that may result in release of ‘dangerous forces’, targeting decisions regarding the attack of such facilities are policy decisions that must be made based upon all relevant factors. … The U.S. does not recognize a protected status for enemy air and ground defenses placed in proximity to structures containing such ‘dangerous forces’. 
United States, Letter from the Department of the Army to the legal adviser of the US Army forces deployed in the Gulf region, 11 January 1991, § 8(Q), Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated that nuclear storage facilities were considered to be a legitimate military target. 
United States, Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 1.
United States of America
During the Gulf War, the US air force struck research reactors that were under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. US officials declared that the United States was not bound by any obligation prohibiting attacks on nuclear research facilities. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
A press release referred to official statements recalling that the United States had signed but not ratified the 1977 Additional Protocol I and, as a result, had made no commitments not to attack nuclear facilities. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, the United States does not apply special restrictions on attacks against works or installations containing dangerous forces. The report states:
It is the opinio juris of the United States that attacks are governed by the same legal criteria as attacks against any other military targets. In non-international armed conflicts, the United States regards Article 15 of Additional Protocol II as establishing an appropriate standard. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
The Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia states:
It does not appear that the question of violations of norms relevant to protection of works and installations containing dangerous forces had been raised during armed conflicts in Slovenia and Croatia involving YPA [Yugoslav People’s Army]. There was no information on such incidents, nor was the issue a matter of dispute between the parties concerned.
The report concludes that the existence of an opinio juris in favour of protection from attacks of works or installations containing dangerous forces is “obvious”. 
Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
Zimbabwe
The Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe considers the prohibition on attacks against works and installations containing dangerous forces to be part of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 1.8.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1983 on armed Israeli aggression against Iraqi nuclear installations, the UN General Assembly:
Noting that serious radiological effects would result from an armed attack with conventional weapons on a nuclear installation, which could also lead to the initiation of radiological warfare,
3. Considers that any threat to attack and destroy nuclear facilities in Iraq and in other countries constitutes a violation of the Charter of the United Nations;
4. Reiterates its demand that Israel withdraw forthwith its threat to attack and destroy nuclear facilities in Iraq and other countries;
6. Reaffirms its call for the continuation of the consideration, at the international level, of legal measures to prohibit armed attacks against nuclear facilities, and threats thereof, as a contribution to promoting and ensuring the safe development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 38/9, 10 November 1983, preamble and §§ 3, 4 and 6, voting record: 123-2-12-21.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution on Israeli nuclear armament adopted in 1983, the UN General Assembly reiterated “its condemnation of the Israeli threat, in violation of the Charter of the United Nations, to repeat its armed attack on peaceful nuclear facilities in Iraq and in other countries”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 38/69, 15 December 1983, § 4, voting record: 99-2-39-18.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East, the UN General Assembly emphasized “the need for appropriate measures on the question of the prohibition of military attacks on nuclear facilities”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/34, 8 December 2003, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East, the UN General Assembly emphasized “the need for appropriate measures on the question of the prohibition of military attacks on nuclear facilities”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/63, 3 December 2004, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East, the UN General Assembly emphasized “the need for appropriate measures on the question of the prohibition of military attacks on nuclear facilities”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/52, 8 December 2005, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East, the UN General Assembly emphasized “the need for appropriate measures on the question of the prohibition of military attacks on nuclear facilities”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/56, 6 December 2006, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East, the UN General Assembly emphasized “the need for appropriate measures on the question of the prohibition of military attacks on nuclear facilities”.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/18, 5 December 2007, preamble, adopted without a vote.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
In several resolutions between 1987 and 1990, the IAEA stated that it considered an attack against nuclear installations used for pacific ends to be contrary to international law. 
IAEA, Res. GC(XXXI)/RES/475, 25 September 1987, preamble; Res. GC(XXIX)/RES/444, 27 September 1985, § 2; Res. GC(XXXIV)/RES/533, 21 September 1990, § 3.
No data.
Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts
In his report to Committee III of the CDDH, the rapporteur of the working group which elaborated Article 49 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 56) stated:
The rapporteur wishes to emphasize that article 49 provides a special protection to these objects and objectives which, although important, is only one of a number of layers of protection. First, if a dam, dyke, or nuclear power station does not qualify as a legitimate military objective under article 47, it is a civilian object and cannot be attacked. Second, if it does qualify as a military objective or if it has military objectives in its vicinity, it receives special protection under this article. Third, if, pursuant to the terms of this article, it may be attacked or a military objective in its vicinity may be attacked, such attack is still subject to all the other relevant rules of this Protocol and general international law; in particular, the dam, dyke, or nuclear power plant or other military objective could not be attacked if such attack would be likely to cause civilian losses excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage, as provided in article 50. In the case of a dam or dyke, for example, where a great many people would be killed and much damage done by its destruction, immunity would exist unless the military reasons for destruction in a particular case were of an extraordinarily vital sort.
Additionally, it must always be recognized that an attack is not justified unless the military reasons for the destruction in a particular case are of such extraordinary and vital interest as to outweigh the severe losses which may be anticipated. Nevertheless, it should be noted that some representatives remain concerned about the problems that may arise from the use of dykes for roadways.
In the view of the Rapporteur, the second sentence of paragraph 3 is one of the most important contributions of this article. Even when attack on one of these objects is justified under all the applicable rules, this provision requires the combatants to take “all practical precautions” to avoid releasing the dangerous forces. Given the array of arms available to modern armies, this requirement should provide real protection against the catastrophic release of these forces. Finally, it should be noted that some representatives requested the inclusion in this article of special protection for oil rigs, petroleum storage facilities, and oil refineries. It was agreed that these were not objects containing dangerous forces within the meaning of this article and that, if these objects are to be given any special protection by the Protocol, it should be done by another article, perhaps by a special article for that purpose. 
CDDH, Report to the Third Committee on the work of the working group submitted by the Rapporteur, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/264, 13 March 1975, pp. 350–352.
Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts
Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I is limited to three specific types of works and installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations. At the CDDH, 14 Arab States submitted an amendment to replace the word “namely” in Article 49(1) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 56(1)) by the words “such as”. 
CDDH, Proposed amendment to Article 49 of Draft Protocol I submitted by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Democratic Yemen and Yemen, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/III/76 and Add. 1, 21 March 1974, p. 224.
This amendment was not accepted by the working group which elaborated Article 49 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 56) because, as the rapporteur of the working group stated, “it was only when a decision was taken to limit the special protection of the article to dams, dykes, nuclear power stations, and other military objectives in the vicinity of these objects that it was possible to produce a generally acceptable text”. 
CDDH, Report to the Third Committee on the work of the working group submitted by the Rapporteur, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/264, 13 March 1975, p. 350.
No data.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces the rule that works and installations containing dangerous forces are specifically protected objects which may not be attacked except “a) if it provides regular, significant and direct support of military operations; b) if that support is other than its normal function; c) and if an attack against that work or installation is the only way to terminate such support”. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 107, 219 and 227.
Furthermore, “attacks of works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive civilian damage” constitute a grave breach of the law of war. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 778(f).
ICRC
In a Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law sent in 1990 to all States party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions in the context of the Gulf War, the ICRC invited
States which are not party to [the] 1977 [Additional] Protocol I to respect, in the event of armed conflict, the following articles of the Protocol, which stem from the basic principle of civilian immunity from attack: … Article 56: protection of works and installations containing dangerous forces. 
ICRC, Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law, 14 December 1990, § II, IRRC, No. 280, 1991, p. 25.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC reminded the parties that “installations containing dangerous forces, such as dams and dykes, shall not be made the object of attack, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population”. 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § II, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 504.
ICRC
In a working paper on war crimes submitted in 1997 to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICRC, emphasizing the customary law nature of most grave breaches of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, listed, inter alia, the following as a war crime to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Court:
Launching an attack against works and installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects, which is excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, when committed wilfully, and causing death or serious injury to body or health. 
ICRC, Working paper on war crimes submitted to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, 14 February 1997, § 1(b)(iii).
ICRC
In 1997, in a statement before the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICRC noted that certain war crimes committed in international armed conflict were not included in the list of war crimes in the draft ICC Statute and reiterated that most of the provisions of the 1977 Additional Protocol I on grave breaches reflected customary law. 
ICRC, Statement before the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, 8 December 1997.
No data.
Additional Protocol I
Article 56(5) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I states:
The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to avoid locating military objectives in the vicinity of [works or installations containing dangerous forces]. Nevertheless, installations erected for the sole purpose of defending the protected works or installations from attack are permissible and shall not themselves be made the object of attack, provided that they are not used in hostilities except for defensive actions necessary to respond to attacks against the protected works or installations and that their armament is limited to weapons capable only of repelling hostile action against the protected works or installations. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 56(5). Article 56 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.42, 27 May 1977, p. 209.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia states that hostilities shall be conducted in compliance with Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina states that hostilities shall be conducted in compliance with Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides:
While parties to a conflict are required to avoid locating military objectives in the vicinity of such protected works and installations, they are nevertheless permitted to erect such emplacements as may be necessary for the defence of the protected installations. These emplacements shall be immune from attack provided they are not used in hostilities except in defence of the protected works and installations. Armament must be limited to weapons capable only of repelling hostile attacks against the protected works or installations in question. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 963.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
Defensive weapons systems may be erected to protect works or installations from attack. These systems may only be used for the limited purpose for which they are intended. The erection of such defence facilities is not without danger and could lead to the work or installation losing its protection. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 938.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Defensive weapons systems may be erected to protect works or installations from attack. These systems may only be used for the limited purpose for which they are intended. The erection of such defence facilities is not without danger and could lead to the work or installation losing its protection. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.39.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states that installations containing dangerous forces “may be protected by weapons destined to ensure their defence in case of attack”. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 20, § 226.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
352.2 – Special protection: (persons and objects specially protected.)
Certain categories of persons and objects benefit from special protection under the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law, both in the civilian domain and in the military domain.
352.26 Installations containing dangerous forces
[Such installations refer] to dams, dykes and nuclear power stations whose destruction may lead to severe losses among the civilian population.
These installations may be protected by armaments just sufficient for fending off an attack. The immunity of these installations ceases when they are used in support [of military operations]. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 92, § 352.2 and p. 94, § 352.26; see also p. 134, § 412.2 and p. 136, §412.26.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides:
The parties to a conflict should avoid locating legitimate targets in the vicinity of dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generation stations. Weapons co-located for the sole purpose of defending such installations are permissible. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-8, § 75.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
The parties to a conflict should avoid locating legitimate targets near dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generation stations. Weapons co-located for the sole purpose of defending such installations are permissible. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 444.4.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers):
The law contains a very precise definition of the term “dangerous forces”, which only applies to dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations … This rule also imposes a duty to abstain from locating military objectives in the vicinity of these installations. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 31.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.2.2. Works and installations containing dangerous forces
The Parties to the conflict should avoid locating legitimate objectives in the vicinity of these works or installations. Weapons located at these places for the sole purpose of defending these installations are permitted. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 37.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “Military objectives shall not be located in the vicinity of works and installations containing dangerous forces unless it is necessary for the defence of these works.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 468.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “The defensive armament of a work or installation containing dangerous forces must be limited to weapons capable of repelling hostile action against that work or installation.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 13.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states: “Defences erected for the sole purpose of defending works or installations containing dangerous forces against attack are permissible.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 3-SO, § H.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands restates the content of Article 56(5) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-10, § 8.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
The parties to a conflict must try to avoid locating military objectives near dams, weirs, dikes and power stations. Defensive installations built near such objects are permitted if their sole purpose is to defend the objects, and the armaments are limited to weapons suitable only for the defence of such objects. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0539.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
While parties to a conflict are required to avoid locating military objectives in the vicinity of such protected works or installations [containing dangerous forces], they are nevertheless permitted to erect such emplacements as may be necessary for the defence of the protected installations. These emplacements shall be immune from attack, provided they are not used in hostilities except in defence of the protected work or installations. Their armament must be limited to weapons capable only of repelling hostile attacks against the protected works or installations in question. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 521.4 and 633.4.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “The armament of works and installations containing dangerous forces must be limited to weapons capable only of repelling hostile action against them.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 100.e.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “The defensive armament of works and installations containing dangerous forces must be limited to weapons capable only of repelling hostile action against them.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 91(e), p. 293.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Installations and armaments that are necessary to defend [works or installations containing dangerous forces] are permissible, provided they are not used in the hostilities.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.5.b.(2)(b).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “It is permitted to equip such installations [works and installations containing dangerous forces] with the facilities and armament required to defend them, provided that they are not used in the hostilities.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.5.b.(2).(b).
The manual also states: “In defensive operations, every effort must be made to ensure that military objectives are not located in the vicinity of such installations [nuclear power stations, dams and dykes].” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 7.3.b.(4).(a).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
14 Protected objects
14.3 Installations containing dangerous forces
211 Works and installations containing dangerous forces, such as dams, dykes and nuclear power plants, may not be made the object of attack, even when they are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.
213 Establishing military facilities and emplacements in the immediate proximity of these installations is prohibited.
214 Protecting and defending the installations mentioned above against acts of sabotage, terrorist attacks or unjustified intrusion are permitted. In such an event, the installations maintain their protected status, i.e. they do not become a legitimate military objective. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 211 and 213–214 .
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
To avoid the risks to the civilian population, there is an obligation on the parties to the conflict “to endeavour to avoid locating any military objectives in the vicinity of the works or installations” containing dangerous forces. They may install weapons such as anti-aircraft or anti-missile missiles solely for the defence of these installations and those weapons are also protected from attack so long as they are not used for offensive purposes. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.30.7.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) restates the content of Article 56(5) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 76.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 56(5), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Colombia
In 2006, in the Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, the First Appeals Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[The principles of distinction, limitation and proportionality] are found throughout IHL. Regarding the protection of victims in international or non-international armed conflicts, they materialize in concrete rules, such as … [the one] that: … binds the parties to a conflict to make every effort not to locate military objectives in the vicinity of dangerous works or installations. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, Judgment of 7 March 2006, p. 8
[footnote in original omitted]
Germany
In 1983, questions were raised in the German Parliament concerning the planned construction of an ammunition depot 7 kilometres from a nuclear power plant. The government responded that these plants were granted the status of civilian objects under international law and were to be protected as such. The distance between the depot and the plant was construed as being in compliance with international law. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Answer by the government to a written question, BT-Drucksache 10/101, 27 May 1983, p. 14.
Israel
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as a policy, do not establish military bases or positions in the vicinity of works or installations containing dangerous forces. The report considers that structures necessary for the protection of a facility constitute an exception to the prohibition on locating military bases or positions in the vicinity of works or installations containing dangerous forces. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 1.7.
Netherlands
The Report on the Practice of the Netherlands notes that no internal legislation has been adopted to implement the required separation between military structures and protected works and installations. 
Report on the Practice of the Netherlands, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
United States of America
In 1991, in response to an ICRC memorandum on the applicability of IHL in the Gulf region, the US Department of the Army stated: “Military objectives may not be placed in proximity to structures containing ‘dangerous forces’ in order to shield those military objectives from attack.” 
United States, Letter from the Department of the Army to the legal adviser of the US Army forces deployed in the Gulf region, 11 January 1991, § 8(Q), Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.9.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
Defences erected for the sole purpose of defending a work or installation containing dangerous forces from attack are permitted. The defensive armament of a work or installation containing dangerous forces must be limited to weapons only capable of repelling hostile action against that work or installation. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 110 and 111.
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