Paul M. Bessette counsels nuclear utilities, reactor designers, and other nuclear service providers in licensing, regulatory, adjudicatory, and litigation matters. He has litigated more than 10 lawsuits before the US Court of Federal Claims in connection with federal obligations to accept and remove spent nuclear fuel, and supports ongoing settlements of spent fuel claims with the government. He also advises clients on licensing of new-generation nuclear power plants, and counsels nuclear utilities in their applications to renew existing nuclear power plant operating licenses.
In his energy litigation practice, Paul represented clients in the two largest settlements of spent fuel-related claims against the US government. He continues to represent numerous clients in multimillion dollar claims against the government for its ongoing failure to accept spent fuel from utilities, both in litigation and settlement.
In his counseling practice, Paul represented two of the three applicants that successfully obtained early site permits from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the siting of potential advanced reactors. Paul also represents a designer of a small modular reactor in the preparation of a combined operating license application before the NRC, as well as a client seeking a construction permit for a first-of-a-kind medical isotope facility. He counsels nuclear medical device companies on US and international nuclear regulatory requirements.
Paul is regulatory and adjudicatory/litigation counsel for a two-unit nuclear site in the Northeast of the United States on its license renewal application, and advises the client on highly contested regulatory, adjudicatory, and general litigation matters. Paul is also counsel for a utility seeking an operating license for a deferred nuclear plant, the first commercial nuclear plant operating license to be issued by the NRC in more than a decade.
Before joining Morgan Lewis, Paul spent more than 15 years in the energy field as an engineer and a manager. Paul also worked as an engineer for General Electric and as an officer in the US Navy’s submarine program.
Boston University, 1982, B.S.
University of Iowa College of Law, 1999, 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)
Recommended, Industry focus: Energy regulatory: conventional power, The Legal 500 US (2013, 2016, 2018)