John E. Matthews assists clients seeking regulatory approvals from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for first-of-its-kind commercial transactions involving nuclear power plants. He also advises on commercial issues relating to nuclear power plants, other nuclear assets, nuclear export controls, certain government contract matters, and NRC review of license transfers. Clients turn to John for guidance regarding decommissioning funding issues and foreign ownership, control or domination (FOCD) issues.
John helps clients navigate the unique insurance and liability issues associated with the ownership and operation of nuclear assets under US and international nuclear liability regimes. He directs litigation teams in contested licensing proceedings before the NRC and in complex commercial litigation involving nuclear assets. John also provides counsel in commercial transactions involving the acquisition and/or financing of nuclear assets. Engagements include the development of the South Texas Project, Units 3&4, and the sale of Zion station to ZionSolutions for decommissioning.
Additionally, John advises on the internal restructurings of electric utilities holding reactor licenses and on acquisitions or sales of companies holding NRC and/or Agreement State nonreactor nuclear licenses. He counsels clients through the development of new nuclear power plant projects, and advises individual utilities and industry groups regarding NRC rulemaking activities and other nuclear regulatory issues. John has represented clients in NRC hearings relating to the licensing of the South Texas Project, Units 3&4, the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, numerous contested license transfer proceedings, license amendment proceedings, and contested import/export license proceedings.
He periodically speaks at industry conferences regarding nuclear asset transfer issues, new nuclear plant issues and FOCD issues.
Georgetown University, 1986, B.S.F.S., Cum Laude
University of Virginia School of Law, 1990, J.D.
District of Columbia
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Energy/Projects: Power (including Renewables), Chambers USA (2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Energy, Law360 (2016)
Member, Energy Law Firm of the Year, US News & World Report/Best Lawyers (2015)
Recognized, Energy Law, Washington, DC, The Best Lawyers in America (2019)
Ranked, Energy: Nuclear (Regulatory & Litigation), Nationwide, Chambers USA (2018)
Ranked, Energy: Nuclear (Regulatory & Litigation), USA, Chambers Global (2012–2018)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2010–2017)
Recognized, International Who’s Who Legal for Energy Lawyers (2013–2017)
Recommended, The Legal 500 US (2015)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Federal Energy Bar Association
Captain, US Army Corps of Engineers
Former Articles Editor, Virginia Journal of International Law