Nuclear

Nuclear Energy Practice

The firm has broad regulatory, transactional and financing experience, representing clients before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other regulatory agencies.

Hunton & Williams LLP has been involved in the legal aspects of the civilian nuclear business from its outset, beginning with the licensing of the Carolinas-Virginia Test Reactor in the 1960s. From that point through the reactor construction years of the 1970s and 1980s our lawyers worked on the licensing of ten commercial reactors at six sites, for utilities, including Long Island Lighting Company's Shoreham reactor, before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) and other regulatory agencies.

We have also represented nuclear component manufacturers and nuclear materials licensees in their dealings with the NRC, DOT and DOE and other agencies.

Lawyers from Hunton & Williams also have negotiated contracts for reactor construction, fuel acquisition and disposition, insurance, and other aspects of reactor operation and maintenance. In the years since the completion of the current stock of commercial power reactors, we have worked on the following types of matters:

  • Representation of sponsors and technology providers in development and financing of new nuclear power plants and uranium enrichment facilities
  • Reactor license renewal proceedings for individual NRC licensees
  • Review of NRC process for licensing new reactors under Combined Operating License regulations and review of application for COL on behalf of sponsors developing new nuclear plants
  • Analysis and evaluation of nuclear assets in connection with corporate mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and financings, and related licensing issues
  • NRC enforcement proceedings, for both corporate licensees and individuals accused of wrongdoing, involving alleged violations of NRC safety regulations and alleged discrimination against persons raising safety concerns
  • Department of Labor enforcement proceedings against licensees, involving alleged retaliation against persons raising safety concerns under § 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act
  • ISFSI licensing and other spent fuel disposition issues
  • Price-Anderson Act and related insurance issues under US law and international insurance conventions
  • Participation in NEI-led industry-wide initiatives to NRC such as revision of NRC Reactor Assessment Program, revision of NRC Enforcement Policy, revision of NRC Discrimination Policy
  • Participation in NRC’s post-Fukushima licensing and operating evaluations through industry groups and individual-client representations

Our Energy and Infrastructure Team lawyers in Washington, DC, New York and Richmond and other offices have pertinent nuclear regulatory experience, including the representation of clients in nuclear power plant prudence proceedings, as well as prior service with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Members of the Energy and Infrastructure Team are actively involved with the nuclear industry, including as participating members of the Nuclear Energy Institute (“NEI”).

Recent Nuclear Energy Experience

  • Constellation Energy. Counsel to Constellation Energy in connection with the negotiation and drafting of nuclear consulting services agreement with EDF. 
  • Constellation Energy. Counsel to Constellation Energy in connection with the sale of substantial interest in its nuclear fleet to EDF, and subsequent representation of Constellation Energy with respect to this joint venture. 
  • Crédit Agricole. Counsel in connection with two revolving credit facilities for a nuclear waste facility.
  • GE-Hitachi. Counsel to GE-Hitachi in connection with its negotiation of an EPC contract for construction of an ESBWR at Dominion’s North Anna Power Station and associated nuclear fuel supply agreements.
  • Hrvatska Elektropriveda D.D. Counsel to the state-owned electric utility in a contract and treaty dispute with the Government of Slovenia regarding the Krsko Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Progress Energy. Counsel in connection with the ownership and financing alternatives for the construction and operation of two nuclear power stations located in Florida.
  • UniStar Nuclear Energy. Counsel in connection with the structuring, development and financing (including negotiation of a conditional commitment with the Department of Energy under the Title XVII loan guarantee program and of a $700 million export credit agency loan facility) for the Calvert Cliffs 3 Project. 
  • US Department of Energy. Counsel to the US Department of Energy for all nuclear regulation and licensing aspects of two projects seeking financing through the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program under Title XVII of EPAct 2005.
  • USEC, Inc. Counsel in connection with the structuring, development and financing (including negotiation of a conditional commitment with the Department of Energy under the Title XVII loan guarantee program) for its American Centrifuge project, an advanced uranium enrichment facility which is currently under construction.