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Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Paul Bessette

Work 202.739.5796
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

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Paul M. Bessette is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Energy Practice. Mr. Bessette represents nuclear utility clients in a variety of licensing, regulatory, adjudicatory, and litigation matters. Since joining the firm in 2000, Mr. Bessette has actively participated in a number of matters involving litigation against the U.S. Government. He has had a lead role in more than 10 past and pending lawsuits filed against the government before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in connection with federal obligations to accept and remove spent nuclear fuel. Mr. Bessette also represented clients in numerous settlements of spent fuel-related claims against the government to date. He also has provided advice to several government contractor clients on contract clause interpretation, negotiations, and financing, as well as facility security clearance issues. Mr. Bessette has been actively involved in licensing a new generation of nuclear power plants. He represented two of the three site permit applicants who successfully obtained early site permits from the NRC for the siting of potential advanced reactors. Mr. Bessette served as regulatory and adjudicatory/litigation counsel for an applicant who has submitted an application to the NRC for a combined operating license for an advanced reactor. Mr. Bessette additionally represents nuclear utilities in all aspects of their applications to renew the operating licenses of existing nuclear power plants. He currently represents a two-unit nuclear site in the Northeast on its license renewal application, and advises the client on highly contested regulatory, adjudicatory, and general litigation matters. For more information, view Mr. Bessette’s biography at


Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Mr. Bessette had more than 15 years of experience in the energy field as both an engineer and a manager. He worked for IES Utilities as a regulatory and engineering manager, with responsibility for implementing numerous complex regulatory programs and major plant modifications and for responding to regulatory enforcement actions. Mr. Bessette's experience also includes work as an engineer for General Electric and as a senior reactor operator certification. Previously, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy's submarine program.


University of Iowa College of Law, 1999, J.D.; Boston University, 1982, B.S.

United States: Industry focus

Energy regulation: conventional power

Within: Energy regulation: conventional power

The 'extremely competent and client-friendly' practitioners at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP are able to assist clients operating in all arenas of the conventional energy space. The firm's energy regulatory department is led  out of DC by Kathryn Sutton and Steve Spina; Sutton's expertise lies in nuclear power while Spina focuses on working with electric utilities. John Matthews and others are assisting Exelon Nuclear with the regulatory aspects of decommissioning Oyster Creek Generating Station, the oldest operating nuclear power plant in the country. Also of note, a group led by Brad Fagg and Paul Bessette successfully acted for Duke Energy in a breach of contract action against  the Department of Energy (DOE) pertaining to spent nuclear fuel damages; the client won $68.5m. Elsewhere, the team works on FERC investigations and provides regulatory assistance on transactions. Jane Accomando is the name to note for NRC enforcement; of counsel Joseph Lowell is also recommended. Accomando was made partner in October 2018. Grant Eskelsen is a 'top-notch associate'.

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