nuclear

Our Nuclear Experience

We have over 20 years’ experience in the nuclear sector and during this time, we have developed an in-depth understanding of the industry and the issues it has faced and will continue to face in future. 

Our expertise has assisted a number of clients and we have a proven track record in all phases of nuclear development: 

  • New Build
  • Operational Support
  • Decommissioning
  • Regulatory Compliance

We enjoy long-term relationships with our clients and understand the need to keep their legal risk as low as possible

Nuclear market and clients 

We have experience of working with a wide range of clients from both the civil and military branches of the UK’s nuclear industry. 

We have a nationally recognised reputation in the nuclear legal market and have unrivalled experience of nuclear infrastructure development including: decommissioning three nuclear reactors, waste management (storage and disposal) and building new nuclear facilities including a Dry Fuel Store and Emergency Response Centre. Our clients include: 

  • EDF Energy
  • Dounreay Site Restoration Limited
  • The UKAEA
  • The Washington Group
  • The Ministry of Defence

Why our work is important 

To address concerns about the impact of climate change, the UK Government wants the UK’s net carbon emissions to be 80% lower than the 1990 baseline by the year 2050. Nuclear power, together with other forms of renewable and low carbon energy, will help achieve this aim. Our work enables the generation of nuclear power. We help our clients operate and decommission nuclear power stations safely, complying with environmental and health and safety legislation. Our work  contributes to nuclear power becoming a viable alternative to fossil fuels, helping to meet the demand for energy while reducing the UK’s net carbon emissions.

Case studies & contact details 

To find out more about our leading nuclear experience and the projects we have worked on you may either download our Nuclear Capability Statement, or review our Nuclear Case Studies.  For a confidential discussion, please telephone 01789 413 949 and talk to Paul Zyda, Principal.

new build
operational support
decommissioning
regulatory compliance
  • New Build

    Our first involvement in the nuclear industry, over 20 years ago, related to a new build for the geological disposal programme of intermediate and higher level waste (ILW and HLW). Since then, we have naturally found ourselves acting in decommissioning works and because of this, we now have extensive experience of new build facilities required to support either decommissioning operations or station operation generally.

    Today, we are leaders in providing legal planning, environmental and regulatory solutions. Our new build experience includes securing planning permission and regulatory approval for several EIA developments including:

    As legal experts, we’ve been involved in the UK nuclear industry’s response to the Fukushima incident.  The results of the ONR investigation and the EC stress tests have implications for our clients - we identified these and updated our clients. In direct response to the Fukushima incident, we helped EDF Energy prepare an application for planning permission for an Emergency Response Centre at Sizewell B, Suffolk.  We understand the entire European and UK legal framework that must be navigated to achieve planning permissions (or development consent) for new nuclear developments.   

  • Operational Support

    We’re the UK leaders in the provision of legal advice to the UK’s fleet of nuclear power stations. 

    We are currently providing operational support at several UK nuclear power stations including: Dounreay, Sizewell B, Dungeness B, Hinkley Point B, Hunterston B and Hartlepool. In this operational support, we act as an extension of the clients’ own planning and environmental departments by providing expert advice and managing planning applications, environmental statements and other supporting materials. 

    Our advice includes recommendations about early and meaningful public engagement and consultation on environmental decision-making processes including the best practical environmental options (for waste management proposals) and environmental statements for EIA developments.

  • Decommissioning

    With our unrivalled experience, we’re the UK’s leading lawyers for legal advice on nuclear decommissioning, waste managment and remediation of contaminated land. 

    We have many years experience of dealing with the nuclear, safety and environmental regulators (and other stakeholders). We have advised on: 

    • Environmental authorisations and permits
    • Nuclear site licence applications and surrenders
    • Radioactively contaminated land remediation
    • Emergency response centre
    • Regulatory enforcement

    Since 1998, we’ve led the planning, environmental law and regulatory advice for the decommissioning of the former United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) site at Dounreay, Thurso, Caithness, Scotland.  During this time, we’ve have had the privilege of translating the site’s blueprint for decommissioning three nuclear reactors into land use planning documents including: 

    • Master plan
    • Phased development schedule
    • Consultation process
    • Legal strategy (this sets out the best way for Dounreay to achieve the necessary planning permissions)

    Directly through our involvement, the current site operator Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) has achieved national firsts.

  • Regulatory Compliance

    We are recognised (and independently accredited) legal experts – we can guide you successfully through the regulatory aspects of nuclear law.

    We currently support many of the UK’s existing nuclear power stations. We have many years of experience dealing with the nuclear industry’s regulators including: 

    • Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)
    • Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS)
    • Environment Agency (EA)
    • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)

    This experience means we can keep the risk and costs to our clients as low as possible. 

    Our experience includes advising on nuclear site licences and the significant volume of UK and European environmental law including the regime for contaminated land and radioactively contaminated land.