The nuclear energy industry has an exciting and challenging history — and Troutman Sanders has been there nearly every step of the way. Since the1960s, with the planning for the first unit of Plant Hatch, Troutman Sanders has represented the Southern Company system in the field of nuclear energy law. Beginning with the start-up of Hatch 2 in the late 1970s and the two-unit Vogtle Plant in the 1980s, we have shepherded a number of additional operating nuclear units through procurement, bidding and construction and licensing.

Our substantive knowledge of specific issues central to the nuclear utility industry is the foundation of our effective legal representation. Key areas include:  

Currently, the Southern Company and co-owners are developing two additional nuclear units at the Plant Vogtle site: Vogtle Units 3 and 4, scheduled for commercial operation in 2017 and 2018. These will be two of only five domestic nuclear units to go online in several decades. Troutman Sanders attorneys were instrumental in developing a strategic approach for these new units, the development and negotiation of an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Westinghouse/Stone & Webster (Shaw), and obtaining the Georgia Public Service Commission’s certification of the selection of site, technology, contractor and contract.

Outside of the southeastern United States, we have advised owners of the Seabrook Nuclear Plant on licensing issues, appeared before the Illinois Commerce Commission concerning nuclear utility management, and provided legal advice to the Nuclear Energy Institute. We also have represented the owners of the Connecticut Yankee, Yankee Atomic, Maine Yankee, Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim, Millstone, Fort Calhoun, Palo Verde, Callaway, Point Beach, nuclear plants, and contractors or individual employees at the Hope Creek, Salem, Susquehanna, Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear plants. In addition, our firm served as lead counsel to Illinois Power Company in connection with the sale of the Clinton Nuclear Power Station to AmerGen Energy Co. LLC, and to Wisconsin Electric in the sale of Point Beach Nuclear Plant to NextEra.

Today, we are involved in virtually all legal issues associated with nuclear power plants and other nuclear licensees, including fuel facilities. Our work ranges from federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license transfers to litigation before the federal Department of Labor. Our attorneys regularly represent clients in federal courts in connection with retaliation and discrimination claims, and before state public regulatory commissions. We advise clients on traditional cost-of-service issues and we provide legal support matters relating to outages and replacement power costs, major capital projects for existing power plants, and funding of Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts for multiple nuclear power units.

Our experience includes the non-routine. Our engagements include representing clients in hearings or investigations conducted by congressional subcommittees, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the General Accounting Office (GAO), and the NRC's Office of Investigation.

We maintain contacts throughout the nuclear industry and at non-utility facilities such as the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, and our attorneys remain current with topical legal issues. By fostering a cooperative exchange of information with other counsel representing licensees undergoing regulatory scrutiny, we are equipped to advise clients about regulatory trends and to develop tactical approaches to problems and opportunities. Our offices in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., are strategically located near the NRC’s Southeast Regional Office and the agency’s national headquarters.



Practice Highlights