Shearman And Sterling

Nuclear, Nuclear Power Plant

May 09, 2018

The Law of Nuclear Energy, Second Edition, Sweet & Maxwell, 2018


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Counsel Helen Cook (Washington, D.C.-Project Development & Finance) has authored the 2nd edition of The Law of Nuclear Energy, published by Sweet and Maxwell. Since the publication of the 1st edition in August 2013, there have been multiple legal developments impacting the global civil nuclear sector, all of which are examined in the 2nd edition. 

The Law of Nuclear Energy is a comprehensive legal text book analyzing the international legal and national regulatory framework governing the global nuclear energy sector and contractual arrangements for the procurement, contracting and financing of new nuclear power plants and associated fuel cycle transactions. The three parts of the book discuss: 

  • Legal Infrastructure for Nuclear Energy;
  • Nuclear Power New Build; and
  • The Future of Nuclear Law.

Part 1 of the book begins with a new chapter, “Nuclear Energy for Policy Makers,” which provides an overview of the complex set of benefits and challenges considered by policy makers when determining the role of nuclear energy in a state’s energy mix. Also discussed is the potential contribution of nuclear energy to achieving global climate change goals, a key driver of current and future nuclear energy policy.  The remainder of Part 1 includes a new chapter on nuclear liability and examines the international treaties and conventions relevant to the civilian nuclear energy sector, describing national nuclear energy laws and nuclear regulation particularly as applied to the licensing of new nuclear power plants.  


Part 2 provides a more practical guide to the procurement, construction and financing of new nuclear power plants, with chapters dedicated to the primary legal aspects of each phase and to legal issues arising with respect to the front and back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. 
Part 3 concludes with chapters exploring the benefits and legal challenges presented by small modular nuclear reactors and considering significant issues for the future of nuclear law. 

Although drawing on examples from the nuclear law of established nuclear countries such as the United Kingdom and United States, this book is not jurisdiction-specific and is generally applicable to a broad audience of policymakers, legislators, regulators, owners, vendors, investors, fuel suppliers and lawyers active in the nuclear sector. It may be particularly useful for countries contemplating or developing nuclear power programs for the first time.