Sources say Jay ‘knows the nuclear industry inside and out,’ and ‘is the single most knowledgeable person on used nuclear fuel issues.’
Chambers USA

Pillsbury Energy partner Jay Silberg is one of the nuclear power industry’s “go-to” lawyers, responsible for licensing many U.S. nuclear plants and litigating precedent-setting cases.

Selected as a Law360 2019 Energy MVP, Jay advises on all aspects of nuclear law, including licensing, trial and appellate litigation, M&A and contracting, policy development, and compliance. He represents electric utilities and utility groups, governmental entities, nuclear energy and consulting firms, and other industry players, regularly advocating for clients before the NRC, DOE, state regulatory commissions, U.S. Congress, and federal, state and appellate courts. Jay advises on matters that range from plant design, construction and operational issues, to decommissioning and spent nuclear fuel storage and disposal.

Representative Experience

  • Represented leading global alternative asset manager Brookfield Business Partners L.P. on the regulatory and policy aspects of its successful acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company.
  • Advising leading energy technology company Holtec International on its acquisition of the Oyster Creek nuclear power station in New Jersey from Exelon Generation.
  • Represented client Holtec International’s efforts to license a first-of-a kind interim spent nuclear fuel storage facility in New Mexico.

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  • Won a series of landmark U.S. Court of Appeals decisions for the nuclear utility industry in establishing the federal government's obligation to dispose of utilities' spent nuclear fuel.
  • Achieved victory for nuclear utility industry in the U.S. Court of Appeals forcing the federal government to suspend the utilities’  $750 million annual payments for spent nuclear fuel disposal after termination of the federal government's nuclear waste program.
  • Represented nuclear utilities in landmark Federal Circuit and Court of Federal Claims cases and settlements, recovering billions of dollars in breach of contract damages for the failures of the Federal Government’s nuclear waste programs.
  • Successfully obtained construction permits, operating licenses, license amendments and renewed licenses for many of the nation’s nuclear power plants.
  • Successfully lead numerous nuclear contract negotiations involving nuclear reactors and components, as well as all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.
  • Advises NRC and state materials licensees concerned with the production, storage, decommissioning and disposal of nuclear materials, including their export and import.
  • Provides strategic and tactical advice to owners and operators of many of the nation’s nuclear power plants and to the nuclear industry trade organization.
  • Appellate Cases
    • Alabama Power Co. v. DOE, 307 F.3d 1300 (11th Cir. 2002)
    • American Public Power Ass’n v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 990 F.2d 1309 (D.C. Cir. 1993)
    • Beyond Nuclear v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, #18-1340, Order Per Curiam (June 13, 2019)
    • BPI v. Atomic Energy Commission, 502 F.2d 424 (D.C. Cir. 1974)
    • Brooks v. Atomic Energy Commission, 476 F.2d 924 (D.C. Cir. 1973)
    • Bullcreek v. NRC, 359 F.3d 536 (D.C. Cir. 2004)
    • Bullcreek v. NRC, 360 F.3d 184 (D.C. Cir. 2004)
    • Calvert Cliffs’ Coordinating Committee, Inc. v. AEC, 449 F.2d 1109 (D.C. Cir. 1971)
    • Citizens For a Safe Environment v. Atomic Energy Commission, 489 F.2d 1018 (3d Cir. 1974)
    • Coalition for Environment v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 795 F.2d 168 (D.C. Cir. 1986)
    • Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. United States, 856 F.2d 378 (1st Cir. 1988)
    • Commonwealth Edison Co. v. DOE, 877 F. 2d 1042 (D.C. Cir. 1989)
    • Consolidated Edison Co. of N.Y. v. DOE, 870 F.2d 694 (D.C. Cir. 1989)
    • Delmarva Power & Light v. U.S., 542 F.3d 889(Fed. Cir. 2008), cert. den. 129 S. Ct. 2050 (2009)
    • Indiana Michigan Power Co. v. DOE, 88 F.3d 1272 (D.C. Cir. 1996)
    • Indiana Michigan Power Co. v. U.S., 422 F.3d 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2005)
    • Mid-America Coalition for Energy Alternatives v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 12 ERC 1718 (D.C. Cir. 1979)
    • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners v. DOE, 851 F.2d 1424 (D.C. Cir. 1988)
    • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners v. DOE, 405 Fed. Appx. 507 (D.C. Cir. 2010)
    • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners v. DOE, 680 F. 3d 819 (D.C. Cir. 2012)
    • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners v. DOE, D.C. Cir Nos. 11-1066 and 1068 (pending)
    • Nebraska Public Power District v. U.S., 590 F. 3d 1357 (Fed. Cir.) (en banc)
    • Nevada v. Watkins, 943 F.2d 1080 (9th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 499 U.S. 906 (1991)
    • Nevada v. Watkins, 914 F.2d 1545 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 111 S. Ct. 1105 (1991)
    • New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 727 F.2d 1127 (D.C. Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1082 (1986)
    • New England Power Company v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 683 F. 2d 12 (1st. Cir. 1982)
    • Northern States Power Co. v. DOE, No. 94-1457 (D.C. Cir.)
    • Northern States Power Co. v. DOE, 128 F.3d 754 (D.C. Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1016 (1998)
    • Northern States Power Co. v. United States, 224 F.3d 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2000), reh’g denied, No. 99-5096, U.S. App. LEXIS 34019 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 12, 2000)
    • Ohngo Gaudadeh Devia v. NRC, 492 F. 3d. 421 (D.C. Cir. 2007)
    • PSEG Nuclear v. U.S., 465 F.3d 1343 (Fed Cir. 2006)
    • Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Collins, 359 F.3d 156 (2d Cir. 2004)
    • Safe Energy Coalition v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 866 F.2d 1473 (D.C. Cir. 1989)
    • Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corp. v. NRC, 624 F. 3d 489 (D.C. Cir. 2010)
    • Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians v. Nielsen, 376 F.3d. 1223 (10th Cir. 2004)
    • State of Ohio, ex. Rel. Celebrezze v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 868 F. 2d 810 (6th Cir. 1989)
    • State of Ohio v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 814 F. 2d 258 (6th Cir. 1987)
    • State of Ohio, ex rel. Celebrezze v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 812 F.2d 288 (6th Cir. 1987)
    • Systems Fuels, Inc. v. U.S., 666 F. 3d 1306 (Fed. Cir. 2012)
    • Tennessee v. Herrington, 806 F.2d 642 (6th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 107 S. Ct. 1604 (1987)
    • Union of Concerned Scientists v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 920 F.2d 50 (D.C. Cir. 1990)
    • Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, 139 S.Ct. 1894 (2019) (Amicus brief)
    • Wisconsin Electric Power Co. v. DOE, 778 F.2d 1 (D.C. Cir. 1985)

Professional Highlights

  • Selected by Law360 as one of five energy lawyers (and the only nuclear lawyer) named to their prestigious MVP list in 2019. Law360 MVPs are selected from over 900 submission and includes 160 attorneys from 76 firms spanning 35 practice areas.
  • Recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers GlobalBest Lawyers (published by BL Rankings LLC), Energy Law (2010—2022), The Legal 500 U.S. (2015), Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Energy Lawyers and Legal Times for his work in energy law.
  • Serves on the lawyer’s committee of the Nuclear Energy Institute.

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  • Honors & Awards
    • Westinghouse Electric Co.’s restructuring and $4.6 billion acquisition by Brookfield Business Partners L.P., has been named Private Equity Acquisition of the Year 2019 (above $1 billion) by the Global M&A Network’s 11th annual Turnaround Atlas Awards.
    • In the Restructuring Deal of the Year category, for the 11th Annual International M&A Awards, the organization selected Westinghouse Electric Co.’s restructuring and $4.6 billion acquisition by Brookfield Business Partners.
    • International Financial Law Review selected Westinghouse Electric Co.’s restructuring and $4.6 acquisition by Brookfield Business Partners L.P., in which Pillsbury advised on critical regulatory and policy issues, as Private Equity Deal of the Year. Each year, IFLR honors legally innovative deals and teams in the Americas region.
    • Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing (2010)
    • Leading Lawyers – Ten of the DC Area’s Top Energy Attorneys in Energy Law: a Practice Focus, Legal Times (2005)
  • Publications
    • Authored article, "DOE's Latest Effort to Expedite Cleanup of Cold War Sites Will Shave Cleanup Costs -- and Could Hit Commercial Nuclear Sites in the Wallet," published by Pratt's Energy Law Report, September 2019.
  • Speaking Engagements
    • “Removing Fuel from Reactor Sites: Federal Programs,” NEI Used Fuel Management Conference, May 7, 2019.
    • “Yucca Project Restart, Spent Fuel Storage and Repository Options,” Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM)’s Spent Fuel Management Seminar, January 13, 2014. Crystal City, VA


  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1966

    B.A., Amherst College, 1963
    cum laude


  • District of Columbia


  • U.S. Supreme Court

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

    U.S. Court of Federal Claims

    Supreme Court of New Jersey