As perhaps the world’s most heavily regulated, scrutinized, politicized, and publicly misunderstood global industry sector, the nuclear industry and its suppliers require sophisticated counsel with a keen sense of the legal, political, and commercial challenges facing the industry, as well as its important place in the worldwide energy future.
The K&L Gates nuclear industry group is an international, multidisciplinary team focused on virtually every facet of the nuclear industry and on the challenges presented by the use and disposal of radioactive materials and radiation-generating devices, as well as the opportunities presented by heightened concern over the emission of greenhouse gases.
Our clients include operators of commercial nuclear energy facilities, nuclear fuel fabricators, ore processors, industrial and medical users, waste management and transportation contractors, developers, and suppliers to the commercial nuclear power industry. In the United States, our attorneys have represented Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensees and Department of Energy (DOE) contractors, as well as consultants, contractors, and subcontractors in nearly every capacity. In the United Kingdom, we have advised government agencies and nuclear facility operators on a wide range of regulatory issues and have been involved in several important transactions in the U.K. nuclear industry.
Our industry team combines lawyers with a range of nuclear industry experience, including technical backgrounds, government agency roles, and in-house counsel of regulated companies. Still others bring truly unique experiences to bear in counseling our nuclear clients. For example, K&L Gates partner Dick Thornburgh, in his former capacity as governor of Pennsylvania, led the Commonwealth’s emergency response during the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.
K&L Gates has over 100 experienced lawyers in the United States, European Union, and Asia dedicated to developing creative and cost-effective solutions to the environmental and regulatory challenges confronting our clients. Our attorneys have advised NRC and Agreement State licensees on regulatory requirements associated with nuclear facility operations, radioactive material handling and disposal, facility safety, occupational radiation exposure monitoring and reporting, and facility decontamination and decommissioning. We have participated in DOE contractor self-assessments and audits in the areas of nuclear safety, radioactive and mixed waste management, environmental restoration, radiation protection, and risk management.
In addition, we have advised clients on the cleanup of radioactive contamination at a number of Superfund sites and other unlicensed sites. In the United Kingdom, we have advised a radioisotope producer on EU and British government regulations concerning radioactive releases and site decontamination.
Our nuclear industry group has extensive experience counseling clients on insurance coverage issues for nuclear-related liabilities, and helping them secure coverage for radiation-related property damage claims, on site and off site remediation, and bodily injury claims.
Our experience includes a comprehensive understanding of the issues arising under the particularized insurance policies covering nuclear related liabilities issued by American Nuclear Insurers (ANI), formerly known as the Nuclear Energy Liability Insurance Association (NELIA), and Mutual Atomic Energy Liability Underwriters (MAELU). These policies include the Facility Form Policy, the Facility Worker Form Policy, the Supplier’s and Transporter’s Policy, and the Secondary Financial Protection Policy. We have successfully represented suppliers and manufacturers as well as owners and operators of nuclear facilities in securing insurance coverage for various types of claims under the ANI, NELIA, and MEALU policies.
K&L Gates has represented government contractors involved in national defense and nuclear operations for over 30 years – and our attorneys literally wrote the book on government contract law in the United States, with the publication of a leading textbook on the subject. We have assisted clients in the award, defense, and protest of government contracts totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Our nuclear industry group has represented government contractors in interpreting and applying contract clauses (including those implementing the Defense Production Act and the Price-Anderson Act) requiring the government to indemnify and defend contractors against nuclear-related claims and litigation. We regularly serve as advisors to DOE and Department of Defense contractors on the formulation of winning procurement proposals, and in developing detailed corrective action plans in instances where improved performance was called for by the federal agency involved.