U.S. Nuclear Regulation Basics (NRC 101)

U.S. Nuclear Regulation Basics (NRC 101)

May 7-8, 2019 | Washington, DC

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Join us in Washington, D.C., as acknowledged experts in nuclear regulation, Morgan Lewis partners Alex Polonsky, Thomas Poindexter, Jane Accomando, and Lewis Csedrik, and Naval Reactors Counsel, Frank Putzu, and others present an overview of nuclear regulation in the United States.  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, including the next wave of advanced reactors, are licensed for construction, approved for siting, and regulated during construction and operation.  The course also will cover NRC and Naval regulatory requirements and guidance documents, and will examine NRC’s role over radioactive materials use in non-reactor applications, as well as the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining 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 licensees
  • How NRC and the Navy imposes its regulatory requirements on users of nuclear materials
  • How NRC evaluates licensee performance
  • How new power plants, including advanced reactors, and other fuel cycle facilities are licensed
  • How nuclear technology and material exports are regulated

Learning Outcomes

  • Be familiar with the history and development of nuclear regulation in the U.S.
  • Understand the relationship of the NRC with other organizations both inside and outside of the government
  • Recognize the regulatory and licensing requirements of the NRC
  • Examine how the NRC evaluates licensee performance
  • Be familiar with the hearing process of the NRC
  • Understand the NRC’s civil and criminal 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 1.1 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: 13.0
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
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.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Registration

1:00 – 4:30 p.m. :: Course Timing

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

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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

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

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

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Morning Break

Generally Regulated Activities of Operating Plants

  • Physical security
  • Fitness for duty
  • Access authorization

Nuclear Liability and NRC and Naval Decommissioning

  • Price-Anderson
  • Decommissioning funding
  • Dismantlement and disposal of naval vessels

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

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

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 and Navy Expectations for SCWE
    • Employee concerns
    • Department of Labor and NRC parallel paths
    • Industry experience
    • Detecting and preventing retaliation
    • Chilling effects

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

The NRC’s Allegation and Investigatory Processes

  • Allegations
  • Referred allegations
  • Investigations
  • Investigation process
  • OI interviews

Overview of Nuclear Export Control Issues

  • NRC export controls
  • of Energy export controls
  • 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 practiced nuclear law for two decades, 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, internal investigations, export controls, and environmental evaluations.  He is the co-author of Fundamentals of Nuclear Regulation in the United States.  He graduated with high honors from 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 NRC and the Department of Energy. 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.

Lewis Csedrik, Partner – Energy Practice, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Mr. Csedrik represents clients before the NRC, DOE, and Department of Labor in whistleblower litigation and government investigations, including investigations into alleged retaliation and regulatory violations.  Mr. Csedrik also performs independent investigations into various types of alleged wrongdoing.  Mr. Csedrik holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College and is a magna cum laude graduate of the Vermont Law School.

Ryan Lighty, Associate – Energy Practice, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Mr. Lighty represents and advises utilities, merchant plants, reactor designers, technology startups, and other domestic and international energy industry participants and investors in litigation, transactional, and regulatory matters before the NRC, DOE, and in federal court.  Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Mr. Lighty was an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the NRC, where he advised and represented the Commission and agency staff, and served as acting regional counsel in the agency’s Region III office. 

Jane Accomando , Partner – Energy Practice, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Jane Accomando represents nuclear electric utilities in civil litigation matters, and government and internal investigations. She has both a B.S. and M.S. in nuclear engineering and brings her in-depth technical knowledge to bear in representing nuclear industry clients.  


Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, Washington DC

1111 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20004

For More Information:

please call 202-739-3000 

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