The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is pleased to announce that Mr. Stephen G. Burns has been appointed Head of Legal Affairs. Mr. Burns will provide legal opinions and secretariat services to the Nuclear Law Committee, advise NEA management on all legal aspects of the Agency’s operations, assist member countries in the establishment of international joint projects and contribute to the Agency's nuclear law information and education programmes. He will also provide legal assistance to the Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the field of nuclear energy and the Brussels Convention Supplementary to the Paris Convention.
Mr. Burns was appointed General Counsel of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in May 2009 after serving as the NRC’s Deputy General Counsel since 1998. As General Counsel, he was responsible for legal advice and representation for the NRC. Mr. Burns joined the NRC as an attorney in 1978 and has worked on a number of significant issues involving nuclear safety and regulation. He received the NRC Distinguished Service Award in 2001 and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 1998 and 2008. Mr. Burns served as a member of the US delegation to the NEA Nuclear Law Committee. He has also been a lecturer for the NEA nuclear law education programmes in Paris and Montpellier, France.
A US national, Mr. Burns received his law degree with honours in 1978 from George Washington University, Washington, DC. He received his BA degree magna cum laude in 1975 from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the International Nuclear Law Association.
He is expected to take up his duties in April 2012.
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NEA membership consists of 32 countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co‑operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low‑carbon economies.