Up & Atom

Leaders from 34 countries met in Brussels, Belgium on March 21 for the first Nuclear Energy Summit. The purpose of the summit was to provide participating governments the opportunity to share their vision and plans for using nuclear power to achieve net-zero emissions and promote sustainable development.
Over the course of 2023, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has started to develop a regulatory framework for fusion energy systems. Significantly, and as we previously reported, NRC decided to modify the existing process for licensing the use of byproduct materials contained in 10 CFR Part 30 to regulate nuclear fusion. NRC has now issued preliminary proposed rule language for the licensing and oversight of a broad array of fusion systems currently under development.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has set a course to create a regulatory framework for fusion energy systems that builds on NRC’s existing nuclear materials licensing process. As we have previously reported, NRC had considered three options for regulating nuclear fusion. NRC chose to work from the existing process for licensing the use of byproduct materials contained in 10 CFR Part 30, which requires only a limited-scope rulemaking.

In this Law360 article, Ryan Lighty discusses the US Congress’s efforts to incentivize coal-to-nuclear transitions. With the recently passed Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, Congress authorized a new program to foster the deployment of next-generation nuclear facilities at depowered coal sites.

Our energy lawyers discussed the recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) report on Winter Storm Uri power outages, which outlined a series of recommendations, in the LawFlash FERC/NERC Report on Winter Storm URI Recommends Enhanced Cold Weather Preparation.
Vineyard Wind has received approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Marine Fisheries Service for its 800 megawatt offshore wind farm located about 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The approval is likely to facilitate the development of additional projects and has been touted as helping achieve President Biden’s ambitious climate change goals.
A LawFlash prepared by lawyers in our environmental practice discusses the implications of the DC Circuit’s recent decision vacating the Environmental Protection Agency’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule on the Clean Power Plan. 

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Read a LawFlash published by our colleagues in the tax practice, explaining the implications of the new Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021—which includes the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020—on various industries, including the “green” energy and technology industries.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, signed into law on December 27, includes the Energy Act of 2020 (Energy Act) and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Taxpayer Act), which contains tax provisions important to the energy sector.
An order issued from the US Department of Energy on December 17 prohibits the installation of Chinese equipment or components in facilities providing power to designated “Critical Defense Facilities.” The order discusses threats to the electric supply chain from China.