Gowling WLG is at the forefront of the nuclear industry's revitalisation, advising on sophisticated new build projects and decommissioning programmes around the world.
Our global team of experienced legal professionals delivers hands-on legal and strategic guidance in all aspects of nuclear power operations at every stage - from project development and financing to regulatory affairs.
Full spectrum experience
We support clients throughout the lifecycle of nuclear projects. Members of our team have helped both public and private-sector organisations implement major nuclear energy initiatives with exemplary results. Our areas of experience include:
New build and refurbishment project support
- Project equity and debt structure
- Public-private partnerships
- Nuclear project finance, ECA finance, sovereign guarantees and supports
- Project documentation including EPC, fuel supply agreements, spent fuel, and O&M contracts
- Supply chain contracting and management
- Nuclear liability risk mitigation and insurance
- Nuclear intellectual property protection and intellectual property (IP) licensing agreements
- Claims management and dispute resolution, including major project arbitration
- Policy and legislative development
- Nuclear regulatory development and compliance
- Nuclear project, facility and technology licensing
- Electricity markets and regulatory approvals
- Environmental impact assessments and compliance
- Import/export of nuclear information, materials and equipment
- Nuclear enterprise governance
- Strategic planning
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Nuclear project and enterprise risk management
- Board and management compliance oversight
- Management systems
- Peer reviews, root cause analyses, and corrective action
- Power purchase agreements and contracts for difference
- Decommissioning and waste management
- Uranium mining and processing, fuel fabrication, and fuel supply
- Transportation of nuclear materials
Our Nuclear Sector team members have project and transaction support experience across multiple jurisdictions, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and the United States. Many of our team members are involved with - and in some cases, founding members of - global industry organisations.
Nuclear programme and policy development
Our senior nuclear advisers have developed international guidance on nuclear programme policy and implementation supports, advised governments on nuclear programme and project development, and led nuclear market restructuring and consolidation initiatives. Our team has the bandwidth and experience to advise on nuclear policy and programme development, whether to develop a nuclear programme from the ground up, maximise and manage the risks associated with supply chain localisation, or to leverage indigenous nuclear technology to maximise the national economic benefits of the nuclear sector.
Working with governments, financiers, technology vendors, contractors, exporters, owners, operators, and nuclear liability insurers, we've advised on some of the largest and most ambitious new-build projects in the world, helping clients navigate risks - always with the objective of ensuring project viability and success.
Regardless of its size, complexity or location, our nuclear finance lawyers can help you lay a strong financing foundation for your project. We provide international reach through our global offices and have acted on major nuclear financings around the world.
Nuclear regulation and compliance
We advise clients on a range of regulatory matters, including the design of regulatory systems, the development of laws and regulations, and the navigation of licensing approvals and compliance matters. We also advise on nuclear organisation governance, including implementation of and compliance with international best practices and guidance.
IP protection and technology transfer
We provide IP protection services and sophisticated technology licensing support for nuclear island, turbine island, and balance of plant; special tools; fuel design, production and enrichment; and nuclear waste, storage and clean up solutions. We also advise on technology transfer related policies and business models.
Nuclear technological innovation
We have advised clients engaged in developing new nuclear technologies and new applications for existing technologies, as well as in commercialising those developments. Our experience includes research reactors, medical and industrial radioisotopes production, contracting, supply, and mergers and acquisitions, and supporting a wide range of small modular reactor (SMR) technology developers and vendors.
Operating facilities and nuclear utilities
Over several decades, our team has provided support to operating facilities and nuclear utilities on a wide range of matters, including: structuring nuclear utilities and their financing arrangements, nuclear organisation governance, safety culture and management system compliance, regulatory compliance, operational compliance contingency funding, nuclear licensing and environmental permitting, investigations and prosecutions, procurement and contracting, labour relations, intellectual property management, policy development and advocacy, and claims management and dispute resolution.
Nuclear decommissioning is a complex discipline requiring sophisticated know-how. With significant and diverse experience we provide counsel on contracting models and terms as well as the regulatory requirements for reactor defueling, deconstruction, interim storage and nuclear facility decommissioning.
We also provide operational support to organisations managing legacy facilities and decommissioning programmes. This enables our team to provide a comprehensive, multi-faceted advisory approach that enables our clients to deliver complex, policy-focused, and commercially-oriented solutions to decommissioning challenges.
We advise on the establishment of new waste storage facilities and the operation and management of existing facilities, including procurement, contracting, regulatory approvals and compliance, licensing and environmental impact assessments. We also advise on long term waste management services contracts.
We help to manage compliance around the contractual arrangements for the import, export and logistics for nuclear and dual use components and information.
Advocacy, claims management and dispute resolution
We provide strategic litigation advice and representation in legislative hearings and committees, administrative tribunals, civil, criminal and administrative judicial proceedings, negotiation and mediation, arbitration, and other modes of alternative dispute resolution situations inside and outside the courtroom. Our team is experienced in helping clients to establish and manage nuclear project claims in real time so as to avoid undue escalation that can delay projects and complicate disputes. We also bring experience and a successful track record in conducting major nuclear project arbitrations and mediations.
Nuclear liability, insurance and indemnities
With a comprehensive experience with all nuclear liability conventions and a wide range of nuclear liability and insurance legislative regimes, we're well-positioned to help our clients undertake comprehensive assessments of nuclear liability risks and to develop and implement balanced and effective risk mitigation tools, including legislative development, the parameters of insurance coverage, and the design and use of nuclear liability indemnities.
We advise defence clients on nuclear licensing and indemnities, within the context of major defence procurements.
Uranium and nuclear fuel supply
We have a thriving mining practice and advise uranium mining companies on listings, capital raises and contractual matters. We have also advised a number of the largest fuel manufacturers and suppliers in the world, and acted on the acquisition of fuel manufacturing and supply businesses.
Examples of our nuclear sector team members' work
- Counsel to NASA - Nucleoeléctrica Argentina with respect to the contracts for the procurement construction of two nuclear power reactors
- Project Counsel for the Sinop Nuclear Power Project, a four unit new-build project in Turkey
- Counsel to Bruce Power, the operator of the world's largest nuclear facility
- Advising Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and various consortia on the operation, decommissioning and management of nuclear facilities
- Advising an agent of the Government of Romania with respect to the Cernavoda 3 & 4 project
- Counsel to AECL with respect to numerous matters including nuclear projects, regulatory compliance, licensing, legislative development, dispute resolution including major nuclear project arbitration, patent drafting and prosecution, and intellectual property licensing.
- Advising Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. on decommissioning planning
- Advising on the structuring of the Saudi Arabia nuclear power procurement program
- Advising various parties, including US Exim, Korea Exim and KEPCO with respect to the ENEC Barakah Project
- Advising ENEC in relation to operational and intellectual property issues
A virtual team
Our Virtual In-House Nuclear Advisers service provides you with ongoing, day-to-day legal advice and support from a world-class nuclear team. Whether you're faced with an urgent or emerging issue requiring immediate action and expert input or are simply looking to discuss a complex issue, you can call upon our trusted advisers for strategic advice.
Find out more
To discover out how we can help you with your nuclear project, please get in touch with any member of our team.