Legal and Policy Issues in Spent Nuclear Fuel Management

Legal and Policy Issues in Spent Nuclear Fuel Management

January 23-24, 2020 | Houston, TX

Atomic (a.k.a. nuclear) energy law is the result of an extraordinary tension among national security, an unsatisfied national thirst for energy, and as the hazards became understood, environmental protection. The national security implications of atomic energy have always trumped every other beneficial or detrimental aspect of the application of atomic science and engineering to manufacturing, business, energy production or medical uses, etc. Although at its beginning it was touted as “energy too cheap to meter,” the related costs of providing adequate safety and security are extraordinary. The central front on the domestic legal battlefield has been the dilemma of what to do with spent nuclear fuel. Spent nuclear fuel – both highly toxic and radioactive – increases at the rate of 2,000 metric tons per year in the United States alone; more than 77,000 metric tons (the current statutory cap on the incomplete national waste repository) is currently awaiting disposal. This spent nuclear fuel remains at the sites where it initially became highly toxic and radioactive, and these sites are scattered across the United States. Every aspect of the disposal question continues to be fueled by the political process, even down to whether it is a waste or a resource. The significant environmental ramifications to resolving this dilemma have resulted in a toxic political process built upon a technically complex and extraordinary legal and regulatory structure.

The principal aim of this course is to provide the student with an appreciation for the legal and policy challenges posed by current and future commercial nuclear activities. This course will analyze the legal and policy conundrum that has, and continues to, result in hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees, as well as billions of dollars in contract damage awards to commercial utilities resulting from the government’s failure to perform contractual obligations. We begin with a discussion of the policy and statutory origins for the intersection of atomic energy’s use in national security and commercial nuclear development and deployment. We then will examine specific topics, including nuclear waste classification and regulation, waste transportation, and the contrasting stories for commercial versus Federal permanent radioactive waste disposal.

No prior scientific, technical, or engineering knowledge is required.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review atomic energy legal framework and background
  • Discuss environmental law and relation to spent nuclear fuel
  • Discuss the National Nuclear Waste Repository
  • Assess the Nuclear Waste Fund and standard contracts for disposal of spent nuclear fuel
  • Review spent nuclear fuel transportation
  • Discuss case studies in the licensing of spent fuel management



EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this event.


Requirements For Successful Completion

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Introduction of Instructor and Attendees

  • Course Logistics and Attendee Responsibilities
  • Instructor Backgrounds
  • Attendee Self-Introductions and Interest in Spent Nuclear Fuel

Learning Objectives and Goals of the Course

Atomic Energy Legal Framework and Background

  • Act, Evolution from Military to Commercial & Military Regulation 
  • The Manhattan Project & Cold War
  • The Atomic Energy Act of 1954
  • The Government of the Atom (The Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC))
  • Peaceful / Commercial Uses

Environmental Law & Spent Nuclear Fuel; Complexity Wrapped in an Enigma

  • Environmental Law in a Nutshell
  • Compare Spent Nuclear Fuel with Nuclear Wastes and Their Regulatory Classification
  • Nuclear Waste Regulatory Requirements; Agency Deference
  • High Level Waste (HLW) Classification Initiatives
  • Federal Disposal Site Regulations

The National Nuclear Waste Repository

  • The 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and Its Implementation by DOE
  • NWPA Siting Process: Resistance and Controversy
  • The 1987 Nuclear Waste Policy Act Amendments
  • Nevada’s Unyielding Resistance and Legal Actions to Thwart Yucca Mountain
  • DOE’s Yucca License Application to NRC
  • Blue Ribbon Commission and Consent-based Siting
  • Stalemate: Political Victory for Nevada

The Nuclear Waste Fund and Standard Contracts for Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel

  • Nuclear Waste Fund and Evolving Federal Budget and Appropriations Practices
  • Fee for Disposal of HLW
  • Waste Fee Determination & Allocation
  • Case Study on Cost Recovery

Friday, January 24, 2020

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation

  • Kinds of Materials Transported and Why 
  • How Shipments are Regulated 
  • Transport Experience 
  • Safety, Security, and Emergency Response 

Case Studies in the Licensing of Spent Fuel Management

  • Repository Licensing
  • Away from Reactor (AFR) Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI), like Private Fuel Storage (PFS)  
  • Transuranic Waste – Pit 9 and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)



Budd Haemer, Senior Nuclear Counsel, American Electric Power

Mr. Haemer is currently Senior Nuclear Counsel for American Electric Power at its D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan.  Prior to that, he was a lawyer with the nuclear energy practice of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLC.  His practice covers a wide range of legal topics necessary for successful support of commercial nuclear power operation, including spent nuclear fuel management, State and NRC regulatory matters, commercial transactions, employee relations, and government affairs.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Haemer served in the U.S. Navy as an engineering duty officer with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.  His work there covered control of nuclear testing, quality assurance, radiological protection, and defueling of submarine reactors, including spent nuclear fuel storage and shipment.  He rose to the level of Deputy Program Manager for environmental, health and safety programs in the nuclear technology section.


Hilton garden inn houston Galleria area

3201 sage road

Houston, TX 77056

Reserve your room:

please call 1-713-629-0101

Mention the EUCI Group Code EUCI2

Click here to book online

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of January 22 – 23, 2020

Room rate through EUCI:

$159.00 single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to January 2, 2020.



Legal and Policy Issues in Spent Nuclear Fuel Management

January 23-24, 2020 | Houston, TX
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1395.00 each

Buy 4 seats and only pay for 3! For this event every fourth attendee is free!

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before December 20, 2019 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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