Nuclear power presents the energy industry and governments with a unique political/economic and environmental conundrum: weighing what is a reliable, non-carbon emitting source of energy which has the potential to produce an unlimited amount of hydrogen, against the significant environmental issues associated with the storage of nuclear waste, the dwindling nuclear skills pool, the economics of nuclear energy and public opinion which is still influenced by accidents at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima, as well as concerns about the threat of terrorism.
Our experience in the nuclear sector includes:
- environment & climate change - leading advisers on new nuclear build and decommissioning for developers e.g. advising Nugeneration Limited on its new build development at Sellafield, the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and local authorities e.g. on the flagship new nuclear build at Hinkley Point C. Our advice covers site due diligence, judicial review risk, nuclear liability and historic environmental risk, in particular analysing, interpreting and applying the Nuclear Installations Act as well as Paris Convention liabilities and the UK's current position on the Amending Protocol to the Paris Convention.
- project specific: providing advice and assistance on the negotiation and drafting of project documentation, project finance, establishment of special purpose vehicle companies and issues such as nuclear liability, health and safety and regulation;
- dispute resolution: providing support in the resolution of claims relating to nuclear facilities, using strategic alliance and project partnering methods;
- strategic: offering advice and assistance on the formation of joint ventures and/or alliances; the provision of strategic director level briefings on contract structures and relevant corporate governance/commercial issues. Organising industry briefings and pursuit of industry wide supply chain issues with British Nuclear Group, UKAEA, the NDA and Government; and
- know-how: encouraging an open exchange of industry know-how and information.
A comprehensive team approach is adopted to bring a successful conclusion to our clients' projects by integrating a firmwide team of specialist lawyers.
Plans for new nuclear power stations are in place across Europe and the Asia Pacific region, with construction already underway in some places, and a decision on nuclear new build in the UK is imminent. Pinsent Masons' unrivalled experience in the industry means that we are uniquely placed to advise clients on the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.