By - Jon Brown

Nuclear Power Regulation Basics (NRC 101)
April 26-27, 2017 | Washington, DC

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Join us in Washington, D.C., as acknowledged experts in nuclear regulation, attorney and author Alex Polonsky, and attorney Thomas Poindexter and Ray Kuyler present an overview of nuclear regulation.  The course will cover the history and background necessary to understand the U.S. regulatory process.  It will bring attendees up to date on the latest regulatory changes that have transformed the way commercial nuclear reactors are licensed for construction, approved for siting, and regulated during construction and operation.  The course also will cover NRC regulatory requirements and guidance documents and will examine NRC’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle through waste disposal.  Each attendee will receive a copy of Fundamentals of Nuclear Regulation in the United States written by Alex Polonsky and retired Morgan Lewis partner and former NRC regional counsel, Jay M. Gutierrez.

 Topics include:

  • How NRC regulates existing reactor licenses and licensees
  • How NRC imposes its regulatory requirements
  • How NRC evaluates licensee performance
  • How new plants are licensed
  • How nuclear exports are regulated

Learning Outcomes

  • Review the history and development of nuclear regulation in the U.S.
  • Discuss the relationship of the NRC with other organizations both inside and outside of the government
  • Review the organizational and staffing structure of the NRC
  • Recognize the regulatory and licensing requirements of the NRC
  • Examine how the NRC evaluates licensee performance
  • Review the hearing process of the NRC
  • Discuss the NRC’s enforcement process



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 12.0
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Delivery Methood: Group-Live
Advanced Preperation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

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

PowerPoint presentations will be used in this course.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Registration: 12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Course Timing: 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Welcome and Program Overview

Technical Overview of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

History of Nuclear Regulation: 1946-Present
  • Atomic Energy Act of 1946 and 1954
  • Atomic Energy Commission
  • Joint Committee on Atomic Energy
  • Energy Policy Act of 1974 and formation of the NRC
  • NRC’s changing roles to the present
NRC’s Relationship to Others
  • The role of the NRC
  • External influences on the NRC
  • Congressional oversight responsibility for the NRC
  • NRC’s relationship to others, both inside and outside the government

Afternoon Break: 2:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Structure and Function of NRC’s Component Offices
  • The structure of the NRC
  • Adjudicatory functions of the commission
  • The structure of the NRC staff offices
  • NRC staff program offices
  • The regional offices
  • Standing principal advisory committees and boards
How NRC Imposes Formal Regulatory Requirements, Informal Expectations, and Commitments
  • Hierarchy of NRC regulatory requirements
  • Statutes, Regulations, and License requirements
  • Final safety analysis report (FSAR) and commitments
  • Design and procedures
  • Role of NRC guidance
Reactor Licensing Processes: Existing Plants
  • Licensing process for current term plants
  • License amendments
  • Changes in final safety analysis reports (FSARs)
  • Resolving degraded and nonconforming conditions
  • Reportability
  • License renewal process
  • Post-license renewal requirements
  • Financial qualifications
  • Foreign ownership and control
  • Power uprates

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Continental Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 a.m.

Course Timing: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Group Luncheon: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

How NRC Evaluates Licensee Performance
  • Inspection program
  • Reactor oversight process (ROP)
  • Response levels
  • Inspection and ROP outputs
  • Operating experience
New Nuclear Plant Licensing
  • Licensing of new plants
  • Early site permits
  • Design certification
  • COL application
  • Authorization to load fuel and operate
  • ITAAC review and approval
  • Financial incentives

Morning Break: 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Generally Regulated Activities of Operating Plants
  • Physical security
  • Fitness for duty
  • Access authorization
Nuclear Liability and Decommissioning
  • Price-Anderson
  • Decommissioning funding
NRC’s Activities Related to Fukushima
  • Orders
  • 54(f) letter
  • Longer-term actions
The Hearing Process: When Is Someone Entitled to a Hearing and on What Issues?
  • Who is an interested party?
  • What triggers a right to request a hearing?
  • Overview of the hearing process
  • Discovery and limitations
  • Mandatory hearings

Group Luncheon: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

NRC Enforcement
  • Statutory and applicable regulations
  • ROP vs. traditional
  • Civil penalties
  • Mitigation and escalation
  • Discretion
  • Actions against individuals
  • ADR
  • NRC Backfit Rule – 10 CFR 50.109
Safety Culture and Safety-Conscious Work Environment (SCWE)
  • Safety Culture
    • Commission issuance on safety culture
    • NEI guidance
  • Understanding and Meeting NRC Expectations for Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE)
    • Employee concerns
    • Department of Labor and NRC parallel paths
    • Industry experience
    • Detecting and preventing retaliation
    • Chilling effects

Afternoon Break: 2:15 – 2:30 p.m.

The NRC’s Allegation and Investigatory Processes
  • Allegations
  • Referred allegations
  • Investigations
  • Investigation process
  • OI interviews
Overview of Export Controls Issues
  • NRC export controls
  • Dept of Energy export controls
  • Dept of Commerce export controls
  • Violations and penalties
Nuclear Waste and Related Fuel Cycle Issues
  • Background
  • Low-level waste issues
  • High-level waste issues

Open Forum for Questions and Course Conclusion


Alex Polonsky, Partner – Energy Practice, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Mr. Polonsky has extensive experience as a nuclear lawyer, assisting a variety of clients before the NRC and the federal courts in most aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.  Mr. Polonsky’s nuclear practice includes advising on NRC licensing, license transfers, license renewal, decommissioning, internal investigations, export controls, and environmental evaluations.  He is the co-author of the textbook Fundamentals of Nuclear Regulation in the United States.  He graduated with high honors from the Vermont Law School in 1998.  He received his undergraduate degree in environmental science, with honors, from Wesleyan University in 1992.

Thomas Poindexter, Partner – Energy Practice, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Mr. Poindexter represents nuclear energy clients in licensing, regulatory, and adjudicatory matters before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Energy (DOE). Mr. Poindexter has assisted nuclear power plants to recover from regulatory, investigation, and enforcement problems, both in the United States and Canada. He regularly provides legal advice on a number of substantive regulatory matters, such as environmental qualification of electrical equipment, quality assurance programs, NRC policies, and technical specification interpretations. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Poindexter worked for the NRC for seven years in various technical positions. Most notably, he was one of a core group of NRC technical personnel between 1979 and 1985 responsible for inspecting and overseeing the clean-up activities at Three Mile Island, serving as the NRC Project Manager at TMI-2. Mr. Poindexter holds an undergraduate degree in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University and is a graduate of George Mason University School of Law.

Ray Kuyler, Assistant General Counsel – Nuclear Regulatory Affairs, Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC

Mr. Kuyler is an in-house attorney with Westinghouse Electric Company, a leading provider of nuclear power plant products and services around the world.  Mr. Kuyler advises the company on nuclear regulatory and related legal matters, including U.S. NRC licensing and enforcement proceedings, nuclear safety and regulatory compliance, nuclear liability, employment discrimination, internal investigations, and related matters. Before joining Westinghouse, he practiced law at Morgan Lewis as a member of its Nuclear Energy Practice. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Kuyler was a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, qualifying as a nuclear chief engineer and serving as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy. Mr. Kuyler earned his J.D. in 2005 from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was senior editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Law. He earned his M.A. in history from the University of Maryland and his B.S., with honors, from the U.S. Naval Academy.


Offices of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

For more information please call 1-202-739-3000

Nearby Hotels

JW Marriott Hotel Pennsylvania Avenue‎
1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.‎

InterContinental The Willard Washington DC Hotel‎
1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.‎

W Hotel Washington DC‎
515 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C.‎

Washington Marriott at Metro Center‎
775 12th St. NW, Washington, D.C.‎

Grand Hyatt Washington‎
1000 H St. NW, Washington, D.C.‎


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