EXPERIENCE

DECOMMISSIONING

Funding Plans

Egan, Fitzpatrick, Malsch & Lawrence has provided counsel to several entities concerning decommissioning funding issues under applicable NRC regulations for such funds.

 

Cintichem Reactor Decommissioning

Mr. Egan was lead attorney in the highly specialized decommissioning of the Cintichem radiopharmaceutical production reactor and adjacent reprocessing facility in Tuxedo, New York. This facility was found to be leaching contaminated groundwater into soils and local reservoirs and became involved in parallel enforcement proceedings with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Mr. Egan assisted Hoffmann-LaRoche, the plant’s owner, in the formulation and successful NRC prosecution of the facility’s Decommissioning Plan. He also undertook with the Department of Energy to receive the facility’s highly enriched spent nuclear fuel—a prerequisite to complete decommissioning. At the time, DOE had refused to receive at its Savannah River Site any highly enriched spent fuel because the U.S. had ceased reprocessing, and DOE had promised to conduct a major environmental impact statement which had yet to get underway.

Through a combination of Congressional lobbying, interaction with local environmental groups, and extensive negotiations with Energy officials, Mr. Egan secured an arrangement which allowed DOE to receive Cintichem’s spent fuel in return for the bartering by Hoffmann of Cintichem’s radiopharmaceutical production technology and patents, trading this technology to DOE’s isotope-production division. This allowed the deal to proceed as a stand-alone environmental assessment instead of a segmented component of a larger EIS, and led to the successful decommissioning of the Cintichem facility in record time.

 

Waltz Mill (Viacom) Decommissioning

Egan, Fitzpatrick, Malsch & Lawrence currently represents Viacom at NRC (and continues to do so) in connection with the complex decommissioning of several facilities in Pennsylvania, involving disposition of radioactively contaminated buildings, soils, and groundwater.

 

Windsor Fuel Fabrication Facility Decommissioning

Mr. Malsch has represented ABB Combustion Engineering at NRC in connection with the decommissioning of its Windsor AB fuel fabrication facility in Connecticut. This has included work under the Army Corps of Engineers’ FUSRAP program and Subpart E of Part 20. This facility had been involved in significant work under DOE contracts.

 

NRC Decommissioning Issues

As Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of NRC for over 15 years, Mr. Malsch played a lead role in the development of NRC’s Decommissioning Rule, and in numerous decommissioning matters, including adjudicatory rulings and several issues involving unique transactions or Energy Department interfaces. He was instrumental in formulating NRC definitions of “high-level waste” and “incidental waste.” He originated the concept that the environmental effects of the uranium fuel cycle should be resolved generically by rulemaking, a concept ultimately sustained by the U.S. Supreme Court in Vermont Yankee v. NRDC, a landmark administrative law case.