Ryan K. Lighty represents and advises utilities and other energy industry participants and investors in litigation, transactional, and regulatory matters before the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), other state and federal agencies, and in federal court. Ryan regularly counsels businesses on a range of complex issues associated with licensing of nuclear materials, power and non-power reactors, and medical isotope facilities (including new licenses and amendments, renewals, transfers, and terminations).
Ryan has represented clients in more than ten separate adjudicatory proceedings before the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) and the Commission on a variety of technical, environmental, and financial matters. He also routinely guides clients on multifaceted regulatory compliance issues related to fitness-for-duty and work hour requirements, access authorization, firearms regulation, physical and cybersecurity, and Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). He also holds a Top Secret "Q" clearance and is part of the firm's Classified Information Services practice.
Additionally, Ryan is experienced in performing internal investigations for NRC licensees. He regularly provides advice on Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE) and safety culture issues, and has defended clients against whistleblower retaliation claims before the US Department of Labor. Ryan also helps employers navigate government ethics restrictions applicable to current and former federal agency employees. Before joining Morgan Lewis, Ryan was an attorney in the NRC’s Office of the General Counsel and served as acting regional counsel in the agency's Region III office.
Represented Florida Power & Light Company (Turkey Point Units 3 and 4) in obtaining Subsequent License Renewal (SLR), a first-of-a-kind licensing action that will allow the units to operate from 60-80 years beyond their initial licensing dates.
Represented NextEra Energy (Seabrook) in obtaining a license amendment related to approval of an engineering methodology for demonstrating the structural adequacy of Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR)-affected concrete structures.
Represented Interim Storage Partners in connection with numerous safety and environmental matters raised in the highly-contested licensing proceeding to construct and operate a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility for spent nuclear fuel in Southwest Texas.
Duke University, 2014, Certificate in the National Environmental Policy Act
Indiana University School of Law, 2011, J.D., cum laude
Indiana State University, 2003, B.S.
District of Columbia
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Awards and Affiliations
Rising Star, Washington, DC Super Lawyers (2018–2020)
Member, Nuclear Energy Institute, License Renewal Environmental Task Force
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Energy/Projects: Power (including Renewables), Chambers USA (2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Energy, Law360 (2016, 2019)
Member, Energy Law Firm of the Year, US News & World Report/Best Lawyers (2015)
Executive Managing Editor, Indiana International & Comparative Law Review
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society