Well.... I was going to wait until the launch of the Alpha Clone update before talking about CSM candidacy.... or in fact anything else.
Unfortunately, since the update, I cannot create a new clone. Every time I try (on this computer or another) the game crashes as soon as I try to change the age of my new clone. So I have not yet got to experience the new NPE.
I will keep on working on it! (and by that I mean trying and continually restarting my computer).