Stephen J. Burdick counsels clients in the nuclear industry, both inside and outside the United States. A former civilian nuclear plant engineer and nuclear plant operator, Stephen advises electric utilities, reactor developers, government entities, and other companies across the nuclear fuel cycle. Stephen’s work focuses on regulatory and litigation matters before administrative bodies, such as the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and before relevant courts with a specific emphasis on new reactor projects, subsequent license renewal, decommissioning, high level waste storage, medical isotopes, and Part 810 nuclear export controls.
Stephen counsels clients on issues relating to NRC licensing and enforcement proceedings, nuclear safety and regulatory compliance, employment discrimination, and prudence of nuclear plant outages. He is actively involved in the licensing and permitting of new US nuclear plants, including large light water reactors, small modular reactors, and advanced reactors, and he has been involved in projects evaluating or utilizing all of the NRC licensing options for new plants. Stephen guides clients through the full scope of legal issues associated with new nuclear projects, including consideration of safety and environmental matters, preparation of applications, NRC review of those applications, and litigation of applications before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board and the Commission. After licensing, Stephen advises clients on legal and regulatory issues arising during construction.
Stephen helps clients prepare and adjudicate applications for other nuclear activities, including renewing or amending reactor operating licenses and other materials licenses, transferring licenses as part of commercial transactions, license changes throughout decommissioning, adjudicating materials license applications for uranium recovery activities, obtaining licenses related to medical isotope facilities, import/export of nuclear materials, and obtaining licenses for consolidated interim storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel.
As the firm’s deputy facility security officer with a top-secret security clearance, Stephen also supports investigations and litigation involving classified information.
Outside the United States, Stephen counsels clients on developing new nuclear regulatory and licensing programs and plants, including the need for power, choice of technology, alternative site considerations, and regulatory and commercial issues associated with project development. He helps government entities establish new nuclear regulatory regimes and apply international standards.
Stephen also assists applicants outside the United States seeking licenses for new reactor projects, including readiness reviews to consider whether a company is ready to submit and obtain licenses. He advised a United Kingdom client on a license application to the Office for Nuclear Regulation and has advised clients in the Middle East on the development of new nuclear programs, including application of international standards.
Stephen was appointed to a second term on the Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC) by the Secretary of Commerce.
Prior to his career as an attorney, Stephen worked as a nuclear plant engineer for Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL), then a Lockheed Martin Company. He qualified to operate a nuclear plant and participated in the training of Navy Personnel in the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 2005, J.D.
Brigham Young University, 2000, B.S., With Honors
District of Columbia
US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Patent and Trademark Office
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)
Ranked, Energy: Nuclear (Regulatory & Litigation), USA, Chambers Global (2019)