Office of the General Counsel
On this Page:
- Office of the General Counsel
- Program Support Branch
- Associate General Counsel for Licensing and Regulation
- Assistant General Counsel for Legal Counsel, Legislation, and Special Projects
- Assistant General Counsel for Reactor & Materials Rulemaking
- Assistant General Counsel for High-Level Waste, Fuel Cycle & Nuclear Security
- Associate General Counsel for Hearings, Enforcement, and Administration
- Assistant General Counsel for Materials Litigation and Enforcement
- Assistant General Counsel for New Reactor Programs
- Assistant General Counsel for Administration
- Assistant General Counsel for Operating Reactors
Office of the General Counsel
General Counsel: Margaret Doane
Deputy General Counsel: Bradley Jones
Directs matters of law and legal policy, providing opinions, advice, and assistance to the agency with respect to all of its activities; reviews draft Commission opinions on public petitions seeking direct Commission action and rulemaking proceedings; monitors adjudicatory proceedings, and reviews draft Commission adjudicatory decisions; provides interpretation of laws, regulations, and other sources of authority, and the legal form and content of proposed official actions; represents and advises staff offices in all programmatic activities and administrative litigation in connection with licensing and enforcement; prepares or concurs in all contractual documents, interagency agreements, delegations of authority, regulations, orders, licenses, and other legal documents, and prepares legal interpretations thereof; represents NRC in administrative proceedings related to such matters as personnel, procurement, and equal employment opportunity; reviews and directs intellectual property work; represents and protects the interest of the NRC in legal matters, in court proceedings, and in relation to other government agencies, administrative bodies, committees of Congress, foreign governments, and members of the public; provides legal advice to the Commission (including staff), and represents the Commission in courts of appeals proceedings to review Commission orders and rules; and, in cooperation with the Department of Justice, represents the Commission in court proceedings affecting the agency's programs in the Federal district courts and the Supreme Court.
Assists the General Counsel in all aspects in the role as chief legal officer of and legal advisor to the NRC with primary responsibility in matters involving the supervision of litigation in courts of law; and represents the NRC in Court of Appeals litigation and in conjunction with the Department of Justice in other Federal courts. Provides counsel to NRC employees called to testify concerning official duties in cases in which NRC is not a party. Advises the Commission on litigative risk of proposed actions.
Program Support Branch
Chief: Cynthia Dekle
Provides to the General Counsel program analysis and direction of program support activities. Responsible for program development and evaluation in the areas of resource utilization, personnel management, and organizational planning and analysis. Provides office services, including human resources, recruitment, training, information technology, equipment, space, correspondence control, mail and records control, and maintains law library and legislative reference service functions.
Associate General Counsel for Licensing and Regulation
Associate General Counsel: Trip Rothschild
Advises the General Counsel and Commission in all aspects of domestic licensing and regulation, with particular emphasis on adjudication, legislation, rulemaking, and fuel cycle matters. Provides advice on employee conduct and administrative law issues, as well as on the implementation of atomic energy and environmental law. Provides legal advice and recommendations regarding high- and low-level radioactive waste disposal, spent fuel storage and transportation issues, including issues arising under the Atomic Energy Act, the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendment Act and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act; assists NRC staff in drafting rules and policies relating to waste management and disposal, in assuring safe and environmentally sound waste management and disposal, and in assuring safe and environmentally sound spent fuel storage under 10 C.F.R. Part 72. Advises the General Counsel on the use of techniques to enhance the participation of citizens groups and industry associations in the development of Commission rulemakings and policies; identifies areas in which enhanced participation by citizens groups and industry associations may be needed and useful; and supervises the design and implementation of participatory techniques in the development of specific rulemakings and policies.
Assistant General Counsel for Legal Counsel, Legislation, and Special Projects
Assistant General Counsel: Bernice Ammon
Assists the General Counsel in providing legal advice and assistance to the Commission in the review of significant adjudicatory decisions, on the implementation of employee conduct regulations, and in the development of the Commission's legislative program, including the drafting of proposed legislation for Commission consideration. Advises on the legal and policy implications of legislation proposed by the Commission or referred to the Commission for comment and on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act, Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, Congressional Review Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. Provides legal advice and assistance to the Office of Investigations and the Office of Commission Appellate Adjudication; provides advice to the Office of Information Services on matters related to the electronic storage and transmission of documents and to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer on user fee issues.
Assistant General Counsel for Reactor & Materials Rulemaking
Assistant General Counsel: Mary Spencer
Assists the General Counsel in managing the provision of legal advice and counsel on
(1) rulemakings pertaining to reactors and nuclear materials (including medical use), and the issuance of guidance to reactor and materials applicants and licensees; (2) matters arising under the Agreement States program; and (3) matters pertaining to the storage and disposal of low-level waste.
Assistant General Counsel for High-Level Waste, Fuel Cycle & Nuclear Security
Assistant General Counsel: Carrie Safford
Assists the General Counsel in managing the provision of legal adviceand counsel on matters pertaining to high-level waste storage and disposal,transportation of nuclear materials, fuel cycle applications and licenses, and security of nuclear facilities and materials. This includes rulemaking activities and issuance of guidance documents associated with these matters.
Associate General Counsel for Hearings, Enforcement, and Administration
Associate General Counsel: Ed Williamson
Advises the General Counsel, the Commission and the Commission staff on all aspects of reactor licensing and regulation (including license transfers, license renewal and design certification), materials licensing litigation and enforcement and regulatory oversight of reactor and materials licensees. Serves as principal legal advisor to the Commission’s staff on licensing and enforcement adjudication before the Commission on the conduct of adjudicatory hearings, and the implementation of the Commission's enforcement program. In carrying out these responsibilities, provides advice on the implementation of the Atomic energy Act of 1954, as amended, the energy reorganization Act , the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other environmental laws. Assists the General Counsel in providing legal advice to the Commission and the staff on interagency and international agreements, procurement, intellectual property, security, personnel, and administrative functions.
Assistant General Counsel for Materials Litigation and Enforcement
Assistant General Counsel: Susan Vrahoretis (Acting)
Assists the General Counsel in managing the provision of legal advice and representation in administrative proceedings concerning (1) the licensing of byproduct, source and special nuclear materials, including fuel cycle and enrichment facilities; (2) the enforcement of NRC requirements; (3) the licensing of spent fuel storage facilities. Also manages the provision of legal advice and counsel on matters related to issuance of license amendments processed by NRR's Project Directorates I and II including any resulting litigation, reactor license renewal (on as as-needed basis) and matters related to the development of the agency's enforcement policy and inspection and enforcement activities of the program and regional offices.
Assistant General Counsel for New Reactor Programs
Assistant General Counsel: Patrick Moulding
Assists the General Counsel in managing the provision of legal advice and counsel on the licensing of new nuclear power reactors under 10 CFR Parts 50 and 52, including issuance of initial licenses and early site permits, issuance of combined licenses and design certification activities, and representation of the staff in related adjudications. May provide legal services related to reactor license amendments.
Assistant General Counsel for Administration
Assistant General Counsel: Mark Maxin
Assists the General Counsel in providing legal advice and assistance to NRC offices involved in interagency and international agreements, procurement, intellectual property, budget, security, labor and employment, equal employment opportunity, grants, Freedom of Information Act, and other administrative functions; and represents NRC in other administrative hearings involving procurement, labor and employment, personnel security, claims, and equal employment opportunity matters.
Assistant General Counsel for Operating Reactors
Assistant General Counsel: Catherine Scott
Assists the General Counsel in managing the provision of legal advice regarding operating reactors and representation of the NRC's staff position in administrative proceedings concerning applications for license amendments and license renewal. Legal services includes review of applications for power uprates, license transfers, changes to technical specifications, requests for exemptions from regulatory requirements, and requests for relief from industry code standards. Also, provide advice on proposed NRC generic communications to operating reactor licensees.