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e-CFR data is current as of August 7, 2020

Title 10Chapter IPart 51Subpart A → Subject Group


Title 10: Energy
PART 51—ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION REGULATIONS FOR DOMESTIC LICENSING AND RELATED REGULATORY FUNCTIONS
Subpart A—National Environmental Policy Act—Regulations Implementing Section 102(2)


general

§51.100   Timing of Commission action.

(a)(1) Except as provided in §51.13 and paragraph (b) of this section, no decision on a proposed action, including the issuance of a permit, license, or other form of permission, or amendment to or renewal of a permit, license, or other form of permission, or the issuance of an effective regulation, for which an environmental impact statement is required, will be made and no record of decision will be issued until the later of the following dates:

(i) Ninety (90) days after publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of a Federal Register notice stating that the draft environmental impact statement has been filed with EPA.

(ii) Thirty (30) days after publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of a Federal Register notice stating that the final environmental impact statement has been filed with EPA.

(2) If a notice of filing of a final environmental impact statement is published by the Environmental Protection Agency within ninety (90) days after a notice of filing of a draft environmental impact statement has been published by EPA, the minimum thirty (30) day period and the minimum ninety (90) day period may run concurrently to the extent they overlap.

(b) In any rulemaking proceeding for the purpose of protecting the public health or safety or the common defense and security, the Commission may make and publish the decision on the final rule at the same time that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the Federal Register notice of filing of the final environmental impact statement.

§51.101   Limitations on actions.

(a) Until a record of decision is issued in connection with a proposed licensing or regulatory action for which an environmental impact statement is required under §51.20, or until a final finding of no significant impact is issued in connection with a proposed licensing or regulatory action for which an environmental assessment is required under §51.21:

(1) No action concerning the proposal may be taken by the Commission which would (i) have an adverse environmental impact, or (ii) limit the choice of reasonable alternatives.

(2) Any action concerning the proposal taken by an applicant which would (i) have an adverse environmental impact, or (ii) limit the choice of reasonable alternatives may be grounds for denial of the license. In the case of an application covered by §§30.32(f), 40.31(f), 50.10(c), 70.21(f), or §§72.16 and 72.34 of this chapter, the provisions of this paragraph will be applied in accordance with §§30.33(a)(5), 40.32(e), 50.10 (c) and (e), 70.23(a)(7) or §72.40(b) of this chapter, as appropriate.

(b) While work on a required program environmental impact statement is in progress, the Commission will not undertake in the interim any major Federal action covered by the program which may significantly affect the quality of the human environment unless such action:

(1) Is justified independently of the program;

(2) Is itself accompanied by an adequate environmental impact statement; and

(3) Will not prejudice the ultimate decision on the program. Absent any satisfactory explanation to the contrary, interim action which tends to determine subsequent development or limit reasonable alternatives, will be considered prejudicial.

(c) This section does not preclude any applicant for an NRC permit, license, or other form of permission, or amendment to or renewal of an NRC permit, license, or other form of permission, (1) from developing any plans or designs necessary to support an application; or (2) after prior notice and consultation with NRC staff, (i) from performing any physical work necessary to support an application, or (ii) from performing any other physical work relating to the proposed action if the adverse environmental impact of that work is de minimis.

[49 FR 9381, Mar. 12, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 31682, Aug. 19, 1988]

§51.102   Requirement to provide a record of decision; preparation.

(a) A Commission decision on any action for which a final environmental impact statement has been prepared shall be accompanied by or include a concise public record of decision.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, the record of decision will be prepared by the NRC staff director authorized to take the action.

(c) When a hearing is held on the proposed action under the regulations in subpart G of part 2 of this chapter or when the action can only be taken by the Commissioners acting as a collegial body, the initial decision of the presiding officer or the final decision of the Commissioners acting as a collegial body will constitute the record of decision. An initial or final decision constituting the record of decision will be distributed as provided in §51.93.

[49 FR 9381, Mar. 12, 1984, as amended at 77 FR 46600, Aug. 3, 2012; 79 FR 66604, Nov. 10, 2014]

§51.103   Record of decision—general.

(a) The record of decision required by §51.102 shall be clearly identified and shall:

(1) State the decision.

(2) Identify all alternatives considered by the Commission in reaching the decision, state that these alternatives were included in the range of alternatives discussed in the environmental impact statement, and specify the alternative or alternatives which were considered to be environmentally preferable.

(3) Discuss preferences among alternatives based on relevant factors, including economic and technical considerations where appropriate, the NRC's statutory mission, and any essential considerations of national policy, which were balanced by the Commission in making the decision and state how these considerations entered into the decision.

(4) State whether the Commission has taken all practicable measures within its jurisdiction to avoid or minimize environmental harm from the alternative selected, and if not, to explain why those measures were not adopted. Summarize any license conditions and monitoring programs adopted in connection with mitigation measures.

(5) In making a final decision on a license renewal action pursuant to part 54 of this chapter, the Commission shall determine whether or not the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal are so great that preserving the option of license renewal for energy planning decisionmakers would be unreasonable.

(6) In a construction permit or a combined license proceeding where a limited work authorization under 10 CFR 50.10 was issued, the Commission's decision on the construction permit or combined license application will not address or consider the sunk costs associated with the limited work authorization in determining the proposed action.

(b) The record of decision may be integrated into any other record prepared by the Commission in connection with the action.

(c) The record of decision may incorporate by reference material contained in a final environmental impact statement.

[49 FR 9381, Mar. 12, 1984, as amended at 61 FR 28490, June 5, 1996; 61 FR 66546, Dec. 18, 1996; 61 FR 68543, Dec. 30, 1996; 72 FR 57445, Oct. 9, 2007]

§51.104   NRC proceeding using public hearings; consideration of environmental impact statement.

(a)(1) In any proceeding in which (i) a hearing is held on the proposed action, (ii) a final environmental impact statement has been prepared in connection with the proposed action, and (iii) matters within the scope of NEPA and this subpart are in issue, the NRC staff may not offer the final environmental impact statement in evidence or present the position of the NRC staff on matters within the scope of NEPA and this subpart until the final environmental impact statement is filed with the Environmental Protection Agency, furnished to commenting agencies and made available to the public.

(2) Any party to the proceeding may take a position and offer evidence on the aspects of the proposed action within the scope of NEPA and this subpart in accordance with the provisions of part 2 of this chapter applicable to that proceeding or in accordance with the terms of the notice of hearing.

(3) In the proceeding the presiding officer will decide those matters in controversy among the parties within the scope of NEPA and this subpart.

(b) In any proceeding in which a hearing is held where the NRC staff has determined that no environmental impact statement need be prepared for the proposed action, unless the Commission orders otherwise, any party to the proceeding may take a position and offer evidence on the aspects of the proposed action within the scope of NEPA and this subpart in accordance with the provisions of part 2 of this chapter applicable to that proceeding or in accordance with the terms of the notice of hearing. In the proceeding, the presiding officer will decide any such matters in controversy among the parties.

(c) In any proceeding in which a limited work authorization is requested, unless the Commission orders otherwise, a party to the proceeding may take a position and offer evidence only on the aspects of the proposed action within the scope of NEPA and this subpart which are within the scope of that party's admitted contention, in accordance with the provisions of part 2 of this chapter applicable to the limited work authorization or in accordance with the terms of any notice of hearing applicable to the limited work authorization. In the proceeding, the presiding officer will decide all matters in controversy among the parties.

[49 FR 9381, Mar. 12, 1984, as amended at 72 FR 57445, Oct. 9, 2007]

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