Kathryn M. Sutton advises clients on regulatory and adjudicatory issues involving the operation of commercial nuclear reactors before the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other federal agencies. She represents NRC licensees and reactor vendors, serving as regulatory counsel and handling their complex licensing and adjudicatory matters. She also helps clients resolve issues involving current term operations. Kathryn currently serves as the leader of Morgan Lewis’s energy practice as well as co-leader of the firm’s broader energy industry initiative covering all business and legal aspects of power and utilities, renewables, and oil and gas.
Kathryn advises NRC licensees and reactor vendors on the content and implementation of NRC’s license renewal regulations, handling not only nuclear regulatory matters but also environmental issues encompassing attendant National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) obligations and requirements. In this capacity, she represents applicants that have successfully renewed the operating licenses of more than 30 nuclear plants, each for an additional 20-year term. Kathryn currently is advising clients on so-called subsequent or second license renewal efforts aimed at extending plant operating licenses from 60 to 80 years.
In addition, Kathryn has advised clients on plant restarts from regulatory shutdowns, performance improvement planning, license transfers, regulatory exemptions, and license amendment proceedings. She represents clients before the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in adjudicatory proceedings, and on appeals to the Commission itself. She also has helped clients license new power plants, serving as counsel in the issuance of design certifications, combined licenses (COLs), early site permits, limited work authorizations, and initial Part 50 operating licenses.
Served as co-counsel in the representation of Southern Nuclear (Vogtle Units 3 and 4) in obtaining the first licenses for construction of new nuclear units issued by the NRC in more than 30 years and the first COLs ever issued under the NRC’s new reactor licensing regulations.
Represented South Carolina Electric & Gas (Summer Units 2 and 3) in obtaining COLs to construct and operate two new nuclear units at the existing Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station site in Fairfield County, South Carolina.
Represents the Tennessee Valley Authority in connection with the licensing of Watts Bar 2 and previously with the reactivation of the Bellefonte Units 1 and 2 construction permits.
Represents Entergy Nuclear Operations in connection with numerous safety and environmental matters raised in the highly-contested license renewal proceeding for Indian Point.
Georgetown University Law Center, 1988, J.D., Cum Laude
Pennsylvania State University, 1985, B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
District of Columbia
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Awards and Affiliations
Band 1, Energy: Nuclear (Regulatory & Litigation), USA
Chair, Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), Legal Advisory Committee
Vice Chair, Nuclear Energy Committee, American Bar Association, Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section
Member, Energy Bar Association
Member, Women in Nuclear
Member, International Nuclear Law Association
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2006–2017)
Ranked, Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers (2007, 2009–2010, 2012–2017)
Recommended, Energy Litigation - Oil and Gas, Energy Regulatory - Conventional Power, Energy Regulatory - Oil and Gas, The Legal 500 US (2012–2013, 2016, 2017)
Listed, International Who’s Who Legal for Energy Lawyers (2013–2017)