Practice

Nuclear Energy and Materials

Nuclear energy provides more than half of the low-carbon energy in the United States. Radioactive materials also play a useful and diverse role in modern life, saving thousands of lives a year and supporting an array of advanced engineering applications.

The Nuclear Energy and Materials sector is a complex and diverse area of law. Nuclear energy provides more than half of the United States' low-carbon energy. From life extensions for existing reactors, to decommissioning, to new advanced reactor developments, opportunities and challenges are abound. Radioactive materials also play a useful and diverse role in modern life, saving thousands of lives a year and supporting an array of advanced engineering applications.

We have experience across a full range of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing, enforcement, and litigation matters, and on the development and sale of nuclear projects around the world, including nuclear export control laws to support those projects. We also advise clients on nuclear matters with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department Commerce (DOC), and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others. As a global firm, we support nuclear projects and companies around the world.

We represent a diverse array of the nuclear sector, including nuclear utilities and other owner/operators, advanced reactor innovators, fuel cycle facilities, decommissioning vendors, and the world's largest radiopharmaceutical manufacturer. Our work is on the cutting-edge of next-generation nuclear innovation and we host a legal blog on advanced reactors.

We advise on a wide range of regulatory actions associated with the use of radioactive materials, including licensing, decommissioning, financial assurance, and license transfers, and much more. We support clients before regulators and the courts, in negotiating complex transactions, on policy proposals and funding applications, and on a variety of other legal and business issues.

Our team has diverse backgrounds, having held roles at DOE, NRC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and utilities. Our team includes a former general counsel of DOE, and former NRC attorneys. We supplement this with technical knowledge of the nuclear field to provide a one-stop shop for nearly any issue.

Representative experience

Advising major nuclear vendors, including advanced reactor vendors, in licensing of new nuclear power plant projects in the United States.

Advising a major global decommissioning vendor on transactions to acquire and decommission U.S. retired nuclear power plants.

Routinely advising companies on decommissioning stewardship matters, including NRC license transfers.

Serving as nuclear regulatory counsel to nuclear innovators, including advanced reactor designers, advanced fuel, and fusion companies.

Serving as counsel to a leading global uranium enrichment company.

Advised a public power entity on obtaining a site use permit with DOE for development of a small modular reactor facility.

Supported a global radiopharmaceutical provider in all aspects of the business, from regulatory compliance to transactions to litigation.

Advised multiple nonlight water reactor vendors in regulatory strategy, export controls, and strategic partnerships.

Advised numerous private equity and other funders through nuclear diligence, contract negotiations, and NRC or state radioactive material license transfer approvals needed for high-stake mergers.

Advised global suppliers on all aspects of export control compliance, including DOE Part 810 and NRC Part 110 requirements, the DOC's Export Administration Regulations, and economic sanctions matters.

Assisted multiple nuclear suppliers on U.S. and global nuclear liability protections, including for those companies venturing into India.

Advised nuclear utilities and vendors in NRC audits, investigations, and compliance training, and with reporting requirements.

Supported foreign reactor vendors and minority new nuclear power plant project owners on NRC foreign ownership, control, or domination restrictions and other investment restrictions (e.g., CFIUS).

Advised a trio of nuclear utilities in breach of contract litigation related to the DOE Standard Contract for disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The Federal Circuit awarded approximately US$160m in damages.

Assisted various clients on U.S. Department of Transportation regulations governing the transportation of hazardous materials in the United States, including radioactive material.

Supported in-situ leaching mining applicants and investors on NRC licensing matters.

Advised nuclear reactor and fuel cycle clients with respect to the DOE loan guarantee program and funding opportunities.

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