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WHOLESALE ENERGY PRICES: MARCH – APRIL 2017:

In this series of articles, Dominic Whittome covers recent changes to wholesale energy prices.

Crude Oil

Brent fell 10% amid lingering concern about over-supplied oil markets and US output climbing to 9.25 million a day, its highest level since August 2015. Meanwhile, last year’s production accord struck between OPEC, Russia and other non-OPEC nations, which had initially intended to eliminate a 300 million barrel stockpile over a global five-year average (three days of worldwide production), has succeeded in lifting prices and keeping them above $50/bl. However, the price impact has been muted otherwise.

The inventories picture is mixed and reports are also contradictory. Refinery supplies are still rising although offshore inventories are reported to be falling; a sign perhaps that the production cuts agreed last year are taking longer to feed through than ministers bargained. If OPEC and non-OPEC ministers, meeting behind-the-scenes now, do agree to significant further cuts in time for the next Vienna meeting on May 25th then crude could break out of its current $45 to $55/bl price range and head back above $60 or $70/bl. However, the market will first want to see evidence of agreed cuts showing up in refinery inventories before any new price range is established.

Natural Gas

The forward year OTC gas contract fell back 15% over the two month period in the absence of any significant supply issues. However, gas prices will be sensitive to any further heightening of tension in the Korean Peninsula. Although Geo-political risks affect all energy commodities, gas stands to be affected most, perhaps, in light of threats to shipping and the disruption of diverted spot and contracted LNG cargoes destined for European terminals, as well as its link to the Rotterdam oil market.

For the time being, gas prices are also being held back by the declining price of coal, which recently traded below $65/tonne. The falling carbon price has also taken its toll with the EU-ETS contract trading below €4.50/tonne at one stage in April, its lowest level since last summer. Traders have commented on a ‘loss of direction’ in the market, drifting away from supply-specific fundamentals. If so, this could signify gas prices shadowing the crude and petroleum products markets in weeks ahead.

Electricity

Last month saw the first day in which UK coal plants producing zero electricity; a timely reminder of the increasing reliance on renewables, new-build nuclear and interconnector projects in order to fill the impending generation gap as the last of the coal and ageing Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors are taken offline.

Each of these alternatives carry uncertainties in respect of capacity available on the day and construction timescale. Further, the trend towards decentralised grids and the ‘off shoring’ of capacity (i.e. interconnectors) could increase burdens on the balancing system and, as a consequence, the suppliers’ average risk-premium added within long-term power contracts as more producers and traders become adverse to contracting forward. Conceivably this will worsen the current liquidity problems further, with reports of senior traders and trading directors now retreating from forward trading altogether and contenting themselves with the prompt markets only. This would leave industrial prices ever more prone to sudden price corrections, if we assume that forward prices then become more likely to take their cue from the prompt market as a result of little activity in the relevant forward market.

While the election date has sapped chances of any early energy policy announcement, there was little in the market to console fossil-fuel generator or storage investors either, with spark spreads drifting below 4% and weakening intra-day/Red Zone spreads compromising commercial cases for battery storage. However, relevant policy announcements are believed possible a few months after the summer recess, potentially in October or sooner.

By Dominic Whittome

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide legal and business consultancy services for clients involved in the infrastructure, energy and financial sectors.

Prices quoted are indicative and may be based on approximate or readjusted prices, indices or mean levels discussed in the market. No warranty is given to the accuracy of any view, statement or price information made here which readers must verify.

Dominic Whittome is an economist with 25 years of commercial experience in oil & gas exploration, power generation, business development and supply & trading. Dominic has served as an analyst, contract negotiator and Head of Trading with four energy majors (Statoil, Mobil, ENI and EDF). As a consultant, Dominic has also advised government clients (including the UK Treasury, Met Office and Consumer Focus) and various private entities on a range of energy origination, strategy and trading issues.

For more information please contact us on 020 7947 5354 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

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R V RECYCLED MATERIALS SUPPLIES LTD [2017] EWCA CRIM 58: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE REGULATION OF POLLUTING FACILITIES

The recent Court of Appeal decision in R v Recycled Materials Supplies Ltd [2017] EWCA C rim 58 deals with the question of which authority is the appropriate regulator for regulated facilities under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations (EPR).  The 2010 version of the Regulations with amendments was in force at the time of the offences but there are no material differences for present purposes in the current 2016 Regulations.

Generally the regulator is the Environment Agency (EA) in relation to facilities in England and the Natural Resources Body for Wales (NRBW) for facilities in Wales.  These authorities oversee the most heavily polluting facilities, including waste operations.

On the other hand, local authorities are the designated regulators for certain facilities considered to be less polluting, including ‘Part B activities’ which are controlled for air pollution purposes only.  Although the EPR set out rules for determining which body is the appropriate regulator, the position is sometimes less than crystal clear in practice as demonstrated by the Recycled Materials supplies (RMS) case.

Background:

The facts are simple. RMS operates a facility for recycling construction and demolition waste which is crushed and recovered to produce aggregates.  The waste includes brick, tiles and concrete which are not segregated from other materials.  RMS was granted an environmental permit (EP) by the EA to cover the waste operations on their site.  However, the London Borough of Newham (LBN) separately issued a more limited EP for the crushing, grinding and screening of brick, tiles and concrete by means of mobile plant.  Those activities are Part B activities and therefore should fall under local authority control to deal with air pollution.

RMS was prosecuted by LBN for failing to comply with a condition of their EP requiring vehicles transporting aggregates to be fully enclosed.  RMS’s conviction by the Crown Court was overturned by the Court of Appeal on the ground that dual regulation, although possible in some cases, was unlawful in the present circumstances.  The court pointed out that regulatory functions in respect of regulated facilities including waste operations and waste mobile plant are allocated to the EA (or NRBW) under regulations 32(1) and (1A) of the EPR unless they are specifically allocated to local authorities under regulation 32(2), which includes:

  ‘… (b) … Part B mobile plant but not in respect of any of the following regulated facilities carried on ….by means of mobile plant –

(i)         a waste operation (unless it is a Part B activity)  …’

The Court of Appeal accepted that this wording indicates that a waste operation may also be a Part B activity.  However, the local authority would only have the function of issuing an EP if the activity on RMS’s site was a ‘Part B mobile plant which was ‘by the tortuous route of double exceptions’ carrying on a Part B activity. However, the crushing, grinding and screening of brick, tiles and concrete were never carried out as separate activities but always as an integral part of the waste operation on RMS’s site.  For that reason the activity could not be considered a Part B activity and the plant if it was mobile was ‘waste mobile plant’ which is regulated by the EA and not ‘Part B mobile plant’.  Under those circumstances, the EA alone had jurisdiction and the LBN EP was therefore invalid.  It followed that RMS had not committed an offence by failing to comply with a condition in an invalid EP.

The Court of Appeal stated that a defendant prosecuted for breach of a permit condition can challenge the validity of an EP in the course of a criminal trial.  However, they added (without ruling on the point) that there was some force in the argument that any challenge to a permit condition may have to be made through the appeal process set out in the EPR – an appeal to the Secretary of State (DEFRA) in England or the Welsh Ministers in Wales.  Such appeals have to be made within 6 months of the grant of the EP, so it may be too late to wait until the permit holder is prosecuted for failure to comply with a condition.

This case illustrates a number of important points:

  1. If there is more than one EP governing the same activity on a site, one of them may be invalid. Dual regulation is generally frowned on.  An exception contemplated by the EPR is the operation of mobile plant on the site of another regulated facility.  In the event of inconsistency between the requirements of the two permits, the requirements of the EP for the latter prevail.
  2. If any condition of an EP is unduly onerous to the permit holder an appeal should be made promptly. Otherwise, it may be too late to challenge it.
  3. Although not relevant in the present case, the court noted that there is a power for the Secretary of State (or the Welsh Ministers) to make a direction under regulation 33 of the EPR that the regulatory functions of the EA/NRBW shall be exercised by the local authority or vice versa.Such a direction can apply to a single facility or a class of facilities.  The power to make directions has been used where the experience of the ‘other’ regulator is more appropriate to a particular facility.

By Andrew Waite

Andrew Waite is a solicitor and specialist in environmental law, advising on regulatory and liability issues for a broad range of industries.  He defends prosecutions for breaches of environmental legislation, deals with regulatory appeals and civil litigation and advises on environmental issues relating to projects and transactions.  He deals with all the main areas of environmental law including waste, energy, nuclear, contaminated land, pollution controls, environmental permitting, water rights, flooding, climate change and nature conservation.

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide a unique combination of legal and technical advisory services for clients involved in energy, infrastructure and natural resource projects in the UK and internationally.

For more information please contact us on 020 7947 5354 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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PREPARING FOR ACCIDENTS, SPILLS AND DISASTER IN THE UK: PART II

Incidents which cause environmental harm or injury and illness to workers or neighbours can have significant consequences for the companies responsible. Preventing those incidents must, therefore, be a priority, but if they happen they must be managed so as to minimise physical and environmental damage, liabilities and the risk of an adverse regulatory and media response. This new series of articles summarises key issues for companies operating in the UK, with Part II covering dealing with the regulators and investigating officers’ powers to take statements from witnesses

Dealing with the Regulators:

Regulators have wide statutory powers which are most likely to be exercised after an incident.  Employees should understand regulators’ powers and know how to react to regulatory officers, since obstructing a regulatory officer or failing to co-operate without reasonable excuse is usually a criminal offence.  Employees should request evidence of the officer’s identity and authority to investigate, and clarification about which statutory powers are being exercised.

The regulatory officer usually has the power to:

  • enter premises at reasonable times except in an emergency (with a police constable if serious obstruction is anticipated);
  • examine and investigate the premises or anything on the premises;
  • direct that all or part of the premises be left undisturbed for the purposes of the examination or investigation;
  • dismantle or test any article or substance which has caused the incident or is likely to cause harm (but not so as to damage or destroy it unless necessary); and
  • take away any such article or substance for the purposes of examination and presentation as evidence. If working with the police, the regulator also can ask them to obtain a search warrant.  A Justice of the Peace can issue a search warrant if he or she is satisfied that an indictable offence (i.e. an offence triable in the Crown Court) has been committed and there is material on the premises which is likely to be of substantial value in investigating the offence.

Statements

Investigating officers usually have statutory powers to obtain statements from witnesses.  These powers include requiring any person to give any information relevant to the examination or investigation and to sign a declaration of truth of the answers given.  Usually, the employee can nominate another person to be present, which should generally be the company’s lawyer or the “incident manager”.  Generally, no answer given pursuant to such a requirement can be used as evidence against the person giving it in any proceedings, although it can be used as evidence against the employer or another employee.

The investigating officer can also require the production of records which are required to be kept or which the officer needs to see for the purpose of the investigation.  It is important to know what “records” the regulator can request be produced.  Under the Environment Act 1995, for example, this may extend to test results but not to commentary in a report by consultants.  Records protected by legal professional privilege generally do not have to be produced.

Regulators also have powers to obtain some information from individuals without protection against self-incrimination.  Examples include notices to obtain information served under section 71 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (possible waste offences) and regulation 60 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (investigations of regulated facilities).  Recipients of such a notice are obliged to provide the information requested even though it may be used in evidence against them in the event of prosecution.  Failure to do so without a reasonable excuse is a criminal offence.

Regulators investigating a possible criminal offence generally request an interview under caution with a senior representative of the company under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) procedures.  Interviews conducted under PACE are taped and can be used in evidence against the interviewee, the company or other employees, directors and managers.  Attendance at a PACE interview is not compulsory.  However, failure to attend risks an adverse inference being drawn from failure to mention something known to the potential interviewee which is later relied on at a trial, or a heavier sentence if the failure to attend is brought to the court’s attention during sentencing.

On the other hand, the company representative who agrees to attend a PACE interview may not have all the relevant information to answer questions, or may inadvertently say something in the interview which provides ammunition to the prosecution.  The alternative is to offer to provide written responses under caution.  This procedure avoids the disadvantages mentioned above and enables the company to set out its version of events in the best light possible.  Some regulators agree to the written response procedure.  Others decline it on the grounds that it does not allow for the same flexibility that a verbal interview would and it allows for the creation of credible but false evidence.  Therefore, it is probably better for the company’s representative to attend the interview, answer any factual questions she or he can answer, and offer to provide other requested information in writing after the interview.  If the regulator objects, the interviewee can rely on the right to silence.  Under those circumstances, it is unlikely that any adverse inference could be drawn.

Prior to attending a PACE interview, it is advisable to ask the regulator for a list of questions or, if that is not forthcoming, a list of the areas to be covered in the interview and the proposed line of questioning.  Regulators are not obligated to provide this information in advance, but sufficient information must be provided to enable the company to understand the nature and circumstances of the offence so that questions can be answered honestly.

Regulators sometimes seek voluntary statements from employees which are subsequently typed up and presented to the employee as a witness statement to be read and signed.  Such a statement is admissible in evidence against the employee who signs it as well as against the company and other employees.

It is obviously beneficial for management and the workforce to know what to do when a regulatory officer calls.  Whenever possible, the officer should be asked to wait for the company’s appropriate “incident manager” and, if the delay will not be too long, the company’s lawyer.  A substitute should be available if the usual incident manager is not available.  Other employees should avoid contact with the regulatory officer if possible and, if approached, direct the officer to the incident manager.  If the officer formally (under a statutory power) requires an employee to give information, the employee should require a suitable person to be present (preferably a lawyer or, in default, the incident manager) and should not answer any questions until then.

As soon as possible the in-house legal team or external lawyers should be asked to attend to monitor the investigation and take a note of everything the officer does and all items removed.  The lawyer should also be present at any interview, whether mandatory or voluntary, to provide advice and to record all questions and answers.  If the employee’s position may prejudice that of the company or vice versa, the employee should have separate legal representation.

In any event, it must be remembered that the regulatory officer (whether statutory powers are used or not) is attending in a formal capacity and is seeking evidence.  Any comment made may be used as evidence against the company.  It is therefore important to be both co-operative with any regulatory investigation and ensure that anything said is factually correct.

Incident Management Plan

An incident needs to be managed properly to minimise impacts on health and safety and on the environment; comply with all applicable legal requirements; satisfy the requirements of the regulatory authorities and demonstrate that the company is maintaining a co-operative approach; minimise liabilities (for example, to employees and neighbours); and manage any adverse public relations and media attention.  For that reason a management plan should be established to:

  • identify members of the incident team;
  • (set out the key emergency actions which are to be taken;
  • establish the company’s response procedures both internally and for dealing with the regulators, neighbours, the press and other third parties; and
  • undertake an internal investigation as soon as possible after the incident. Steps should be taken to gain legal professional privilege for the investigation report if so desired.

While “prevention is better than cure”, many companies will at some point face an EHS incident and should therefore plan ahead to ensure the best possible outcome.

By Andrew Waite

This article was first published in Natural Resources & Environment  (the American Bar Association’s Environment Magazine) Spring Issue 2017.

Andrew Waite is a solicitor and specialist in environmental law, advising on regulatory and liability issues for a broad range of industries.  He defends prosecutions for breaches of environmental legislation, deals with regulatory appeals and civil litigation and advises on environmental issues relating to projects and transactions.  He deals with all the main areas of environmental law including waste, energy, nuclear, contaminated land, pollution controls, environmental permitting, water rights, flooding, climate change and nature conservation.

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide a unique combination of legal and technical advisory services for clients involved in energy, infrastructure and natural resource projects in the UK and internationally.

This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory accepts no responsibility for loss or damage incurred as a result of reliance on its content. Specific legal advice should be taken in relation to any issues or concerns of readers which are raised by this article. 

For more information please contact us on 020 7947 5354 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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GOING NUCLEAR IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA?

The South Australian government supports continued investigation as to whether a used nuclear fuel disposal facility should be established. The only path forward they say is the restoration of bipartisanship and broad social consent, secured through a state-wide referendum. Edward de la Billiere looks at the latest developments in the debate.

In reaction to a declining economy, in 2015 the Labour government of South Australia (SA) set up a Royal Commission to examine the feasibility of expanding its nuclear fuel cycle activities from the existing uranium mining and export endeavours to something much more. After extensive consultations, the Royal Commission reported in May 2016 focusing on four areas of potential development: further radioactive minerals mining, nuclear energy implementation, uranium enrichment and fuel leasing, and offering the world a high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel disposal solution. Of these, the multi-national disposal facility was seen as the most promising option and so the government set about testing public reaction to the idea through establishing a Citizens’ Jury – not an uncommon feature in SA.

The Jury gave the government its opinion on 6 November with a resounding two-thirds rejection of the proposal. The other third wanted further dialogue. At first sight, that may seem to be the end of the proposed development, but in the government’s official response to the Commission’s recommendations published on Monday this week, SA Premier Jay Weatherill appears to have left the door ajar for further discussion.

So, what lay behind the Jury’s negative response? Proposing such an idea in the first place was a risk for the government to take, but originally they had opposition support and established a cross-party parliamentary committee to consider the recommendations. Some feel that the question asked of the 300 Jurors was poorly framed and invited a negative response: “Under what circumstances, if any, could South Australia pursue the opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries?”

Against this background, a two-day conference – ANFC16 – held in Adelaide this week brought together the Chairman of the Royal Commission, politicians from both sides in the SA parliament, representatives from Aboriginal communities, nuclear specialists, nuclear regulators, activists, academics, the nuclear industry, lawyers, ecomodernists, professional associations and the international waste management community, to discuss the situation. Several protesters also demonstrated outside the conference on occasion.

The conference was opened with a traditional welcome to the country by a representative of the Kaurna people. In turn, many of the Australian speakers acknowledged that the meeting was taking place on the traditional land of the Kaurna people and paid their respect to Elders past and present.

So, let’s take a look at some of the issues discussed.

The Royal Commission Process – It was thought by some that the Royal Commission was the wrong vehicle in any case to look at the issues and that in it was biased in favour of nuclear at the outset.

The Citizens’ Jury – Several commentators thought that if the question to the Jury had been along the lines of “do you think that South Australia should do its bit to help world poverty in considering allowing the introduction of nuclear power in many countries through offering waste disposal facilities?”, might have elicited a less negative response. One of the main concerns of the Jury was the underlying economic case presented, saying the authors were biased; the counter was that the report was peer reviewed and was only intended as a scoping study in any case, not a definitive answer. The legitimacy of the make-up of the Jury was also called into question, with some feeling that the more vociferous members opposed to nuclear had gained an unfair advantage. It was also asserted that misinformation had been presented to the Jury relating to domestic and international legal matters. The time they had to consider the evidence was also questioned with the six days taken being thought to be too little time.

The Politics – It was apparent in discussions that party politics has now come into the mix. Not only was it the local SA state politics, but also Federal government and opposition stances were also relevant. NIMTO (Not In My Term of Office) was an underlying factor also. The opposition SA Liberal Party had “drawn a line in the sand” with its rejection of further debate and the thought of a referendum down the road. Politicians were also criticised for not being able to take tough, long-term decisions on controversial projects, although they had done so in the past such as with the Olympic Dam mine. It was recognised that the federal government’s assent would be required for SA to move ahead with the idea.

The Economics – As well as questioning the underlying assumptions of the economic case, there were concerns about whether there would be a market for the repository and whether also there could be competition and how this could be managed. SA would have the advantage of being the “first mover” to capture potential customers. However, it was felt that the risks associated with the upfront costs for a small state budget were too high and equated to the cost of a new hospital for example. This, it was thought by others, could be managed through contractual arrangements.

The Aboriginal situation – Given that it would be Aboriginal communities most likely to be affected by the development, the conference heard from several of their representatives. Under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and as also promised by Premier Weatherill, they would have to give their consent for any project to go ahead. It was clear that they were opposed to the idea and that they could never be convinced it would be a good idea. At the heart of their opposition were the memories of the British weapons tests at Maralinga where many communities had been displaced and indeed many individuals had suffered directly from the side effects of the blasts. They clearly felt they had not received full reparation for this and were looking for more. The question was raised as to whether if they did receive full recompense for the damage suffered, would this ease the way for a repository. A further issue arose in discussion which related to the contamination remaining on the land. The common understanding was that there were areas of significant contamination still present, but this was challenged. A clean-up exercise had taken place which aimed to achieve a level of residual contamination which could deliver a dose rate of 5 millisievert per year, but in many cases accomplished 1 millisievert per year, in line with the range of natural background radiation in Australia. However, this fact seems to have been lost within the communities and the conference heard that this will be looked into further.

Safety – Safety wasn’t a major factor in discussions, with the possible exception for the Aboriginal representatives and some others. The conference heard that nuclear operations and transport continue safely around the world, and for the long term, that SA had about as good a geology and hydrogeology as you could want for a repository. There would still be some challenges to investigate further but there would be a very high chance of finding a good site. SA was also politically stable and had a good economy.

Continued public debate is important and a matter that the people should decide and not political parties. If there was broad social consent the local Aboriginal community would be given a final right of veto. From now the government will facilitate continued discussion and work to restore a bipartisan position.

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide a unique combination of legal and technical advisory services for clients involved in energy, infrastructure and natural resource projects in the UK and internationally.       

Edward de la Billiere is a Solicitor and co-founder of Prospect Law. He retains a strong interest in energy related projects and has developed a particular specialisation in Regulatory Law, advising individual and major corporate clients in the UK and abroad on international requirements for compliance with various legislative frameworks and also defence and strategic advice where clients are involved in litigation connected with allegations of regulatory breaches. He has been named as a leader in his field since 2009.

This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory accepts no responsibility for loss or damage incurred as a result of reliance on its content. Specific legal advice should be taken in relation to any issues or concerns of readers which are raised by this article.

This article first appeared on World Nuclear News on 18th November 2016. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/V-Going-nuclear-in-South-Australia-18111601.html

For more information please contact us on 01332 818 785 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

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SAUDI ARABIA’S NUCLEAR PLANS: A TURN FOR THE BETTER?

Saudi Arabia has a very ambitious nuclear plan, with the intention to install 17.6 GW(e) by 2032. Key to seeing this plan come to fruition is, as with other prospective nuclear power countries, having the Kingdom sign up to international nuclear obligations, especially in relation to nuclear safety, spent fuel and radioactive waste management safety and safeguards.

So it was interesting to see the Arab News report that, “The Cabinet, in its weekly meeting on Monday, reiterated Saudi Arabia’s belief in the legitimate right of Middle Eastern countries to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, under supervision of and according to the International Agency for Atomic Energy standards.”

At first sight, this is a statement of the obvious, but is there more to this? Saudi has signed up to the main international nuclear conventions. However one associated with “safeguards” has, to date, has proved controversial.

Safeguards

The purpose of the IAEA’s safeguard arrangements is to ensure that countries are honouring their legal obligations to only use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, not to manufacture nuclear weapons. Such assurance is sought through physical verification and having IAEA inspectors visit facilities and see for themselves that these obligations are being honoured. The importance of this arrangement was demonstrated in the case of Iran not allowing such inspections, resulting in sanctions being imposed on the country until an agreement was reached last year. The IAEA has now verified that Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the agreement and sanctions have been lifted. Saudi Arabia expressed its support for this agreement.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

The first stage of becoming subject to IAEA safeguards is for a country to sign up to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and conclude a safeguards agreement with the Agency. Saudi signed up to the NPT in 1988 and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in 2009.

However, it has yet to sign the Additional Protocol, which is designed to fill a number of gaps in the safeguards framework and which would give the IAEA expanded rights of access to information and sites, as in the case of Iran. The Additional Protocol itself was introduced as a result of the Agency’s experience in Iraq and North Korea in the early 1990s, and is seen as key to a country being accepted as a nuclear energy state.

Bilateral Nuclear Co-Operation Agreements

As well as international treaties, it is also usual for countries to sign bilateral Nuclear Co-Operation Agreements (NCAs). In summary, these allow the trade of nuclear equipment and components to take place between the respective parties and ensure such material will only be used for peaceful purposes. Certain countries such as the US and the UK have yet to sign NCAs with Saudi Arabia, (known as 123 Agreements in the US), which means that nuclear companies in these countries are prevented from doing business. The sticking point here seems to be Saudi’s unwillingness to sign the Additional Protocol, but, given the announcement from the Cabinet last week, are we about to see a change of stance?

We await with interest if there will be any further clarification on what exactly the Cabinet statement will mean in practice.

For more information please contact Edward de la Billiere on 020 7947 5354 or by email on edlb@prospectlaw.co.uk

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide legal and business consultancy services for clients involved in the infrastructure, energy and financial sectors.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

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NEW ARRIVAL: IAN JACKSON

Ian Jackson is a nuclear consultant and author at Prospect Advisory with 30 years experience working in both the public and private nuclear sectors. Ian joined Prospect Advisory from the UK National Nuclear Laboratory where he was Head of International Business.

Prior to that Ian was a nuclear regulator at the Environment Agency. Ian recently negotiated and secured funding for the £50 million UK-China nuclear Joint Research and Innovation Centre (JRIC) announced by British Chancellor George Osborne in 2015.

Ian developed and negotiated China’s first-ever commercial nuclear contracts in the UK on Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design and research. Ian also negotiated additional contracts for virtualisation and computer simulation of Chinese nuclear reactor designs. Ian is a Fellow of the Society for Radiological Protection and a Chartered Radiation Protection Professional.

Ian’s books and publications include “Nukenomics: The Commercialisation of Britain’s Nuclear Industry” (Nuclear Engineering International), “Nuclear Energy and Proliferation Risks: Myths and Realities in the Persian Gulf” (Chatham House), “Siting New Nuclear Power Stations: Availability and Options for Government” (UK Department of Trade and Industry) and “Effluent Release Options from Nuclear Installations: Technical Background and Regulatory Aspects” (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide legal and business consultancy services for clients involved in the infrastructure, energy and financial sectors.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

For more information please contact us on 020 3427 5955 or by email on: info@prospectadvisory.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here

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NEW ARRIVAL: JONATHAN LEECH

Jonathan Leech joins us from law firm Dentons where he was a partner in their energy and infrastructure practice.

Jonathan is a solicitor specialising in project and infrastructure work, with particular emphasis on the energy, nuclear and utility sectors. His work includes advising on legal and contracting strategies and regulatory issues associated with major nuclear development, decommissioning, waste and reprocessing projects, energy infrastructure and other utility and infrastructure related projects.

Jonathan also works extensively on procurement strategies for development and renewal of UK electricity and gas network infrastructure, including development of multi-party alliance structures and innovative incentive models, as well as broader energy and construction projects.  He blends regulatory, commercial, construction law expertise to provide effective solutions for clients.

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide a unique combination of legal and technical advisory services for clients involved in energy, infrastructure and natural resource projects in the UK and internationally.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

For more information please contact us on 01332 818 785 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

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NEW ARRIVAL: JOHN FAULKS

John Faulks is a commercial lawyer with over 25 years’ experience in a wide variety of roles in private practice, the not-for-profit sector and in-house as General Counsel.

John qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and has a law degree from Oxford University, as well as a Masters in Environmental Law from King’s College, London. He was General Counsel at Solarcentury for 15 years and a key player in taking the business from start-up in the UK to a £200m turnover group active across 4 continents.  This gives him a deep knowledge of what it takes to make renewable energy projects commercially successful, and an excellent understanding of what it takes to keep a fast growth company profitable. John has advised on a wide range of commercial law matters including utility scale energy projects, multi building portfolios and high volume residential programmes, as well as on product development and commercialising innovation.  He has had a specific focus on construction and supply chain contracts; sales, marketing, distribution and licensing agreements; and contract manufacturing and joint ventures.

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide legal and business consultancy services for clients involved in the infrastructure, energy and financial sectors.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory.

For more information please contact us on 020 7947 5354 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

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NEW ARRIVAL: GEMMA SHORE

We are pleased to have expanded our Real Estate team.

Gemma Shore trained at Trowers & Hamlins and qualified in 2007 when she moved to Oxford and worked at Blake Lapthorn as part of the development team in the commercial property department. She advised on a wide range of general commercial property work, including landlord and tenant transactional work; and acquisitions and disposals of freehold and leasehold commercial and industrial premises, industrial estates, office buildings and retail units. She also advised on transactions involving land development. Gemma acted for individuals, partnerships, banks, retailers, investor landlords, corporate users, universities and charities. She also provided support on corporate transactions and has managed large-scale real estate project work involving financing, acquisitions and disposals of commercial property portfolios and the preparation of certificates of title.

From 2011 to 2012, Gemma worked as a commercial property manager at Genesis Housing Association. She was employed to review and report on the commercial property portfolio owned by Genesis, reporting on the terms of Leases and Licence Agreements; setting up a database for the commercial properties; advising on Lease renewals and assisting with the management of one of the residential portfolio teams.

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide legal and business consultancy services for clients involved in the infrastructure, energy and financial sectors.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Energy and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Energy.

For more information please contact us on 020 7947 5354 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

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NEW ARRIVAL: ED AUSTIN

We are pleased to have expanded our Real Estate team.

Ed Austin is a Commercial Real Estate Solicitor with over 25 years’ experience.

After getting a first class honours degree in Law from Manchester University, Ed trained with a major City law firm and then worked for a large regional practice in the South-West of England. During this period he undertook a great deal of commercial property and estate management work for a major port operator and for a national tyre retail chain.

Ed also advised on property secured lending for one of the big four banks and landed estate work for the National Trust. He went on to become General Counsel of the former Birmingham Midshires Building Society, dealing with its entire property portfolio and its large commercial lending and securitisations book. Ed managed the legal aspects of BM’s acquisition by HBOS, becoming divisional company secretary. More recently he was an equity Partner in a high street law firm.

Ed has also worked with and advised public authorities, particularly on development proposals, EU procurement law, commercial contracts, community asset transfers to charitable trusts, and general estate management.

Ed has contributed to Butterworths ‘Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents’, authoring the ‘Sales of Leaseholds’ Section, and frequently publishes articles on topical legal issues.

Prospect Law and Prospect Advisory provide legal and business consultancy services for clients involved in the infrastructure, energy and financial sectors.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law and Prospect Energy and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law and Prospect Energy.

For more information please contact us on 020 7947 5354 or by email on: info@prospectlaw.co.uk.

For a PDF of this blog click here