The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently put the final nail in the coffin of a nearly 10-year proposed rulemaking effort that would have required licensees to remediate residual radioactivity resulting from licensed activities during facility operation, rather than at license termination as required by the current rules. The effort began when the commission approved the proposed decommissioning planning rule (DPR) in 2007. At that time, the commission was concerned that there could be “legacy” sites that could not complete complex remediation efforts due to inadequate financial or technical reasons, and that these sites would require the government to shoulder the burden to maintain and restrict access—and presumably complete site remediation. The proposed solution was to require remediation essentially as-you-go and thereby reduce the likelihood that any current operating facility would become a legacy site.

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The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has published a new funding opportunity for up to $20 million as part of its Modeling Enhanced Innovations Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration (MEITNER) program. The objective of the funding is to foster development of new, innovative, and enabling technologies for existing advanced reactor designs in an effort to establish the basis for a modern, domestic supply chain supporting nuclear technology. The funding opportunity encourages collaboration across disciplines and the formation of diverse and experienced project teams to facilitate scientific and technological discoveries. The Concept Paper submission deadline is December 4, 2017, at 5:00 pm ET. Further information can be found here.

Invoking rarely used statutory authority, on September 29, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to undertake a rulemaking to enable generation assets in RTOs and ISOs to receive payments for reliability and resiliency benefits that the DOE views as uncompensated under current market rules.

If adopted, the proposed rules could provide significant economic support to coal and nuclear generation in organized markets.

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Morgan Lewis’s environmental practice lawyers recently prepared a LawFlash addressing a number of questions on compliance with environmental obligations in the wake of the devastating hurricane.

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Since 2010, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Staff has been working on revisions to 10 C.F.R. Part 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of (Low-Level) Radioactive Waste. The original effort was intended to focus on potential impacts from anticipated disposal of large quantities of depleted uranium (DU), which is considered a “unique waste stream,” from uranium enrichment facilities. But over the course of the last seven years, the Staff’s concerns over other possible unique waste streams grew, and so did the scope of the proposed changes to Part 61.

A LawFlash prepared by our employee benefits and tax lawyers discusses IRS guidance that encourages employers to establish tax-favorable charitable leave donation programs to allow employees and employers to provide assistance to those dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

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Our labor and employment practice lawyers prepared a LawFlash reminding employers, including those in the nuclear industry, to be mindful of federal and state laws related to leaves, planned and unplanned absences, accommodations, and pay practices as they begin the journey to recover from the hurricane.

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Morgan Lewis’s environmental practice lawyers recently prepared a LawFlash addressing a number of questions on compliance with environmental obligations in the wake of the devastating hurricane.

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Morgan Lewis’s immigration lawyers prepared a LawFlash for all employers explaining the impact of the demise of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

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