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Title 10Chapter IPart 2 → Subpart L


Title 10: Energy
PART 2—AGENCY RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE


Subpart L—Simplified Hearing Procedures for NRC Adjudications


Contents
§2.1200   Scope of subpart L.
§2.1201   Definitions.
§2.1202   Authority and role of NRC staff.
§2.1203   Hearing file; prohibition on discovery.
§2.1204   Motions and requests.
§2.1205   Summary disposition.
§2.1206   Informal hearings.
§2.1207   Process and schedule for submissions and presentations in an oral hearing.
§2.1208   Process and schedule for a hearing consisting of written presentations.
§2.1209   Findings of fact and conclusions of law.
§2.1210   Initial decision and its effect.
§2.1212   Petitions for Commission review of initial decisions.
§2.1213   Application for a stay.

Source: 69 FR 2267, Jan. 14, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

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§2.1200   Scope of subpart L.

The provisions of this subpart, together with subpart C of this part, govern all adjudicatory proceedings conducted under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, the Energy Reorganization Act, and 10 CFR part 2, except for proceedings on the licensing of the construction and operation of a uranium enrichment facility, proceedings on an initial application for construction authorization for a high-level radioactive waste geologic repository at a geologic repository operations area noticed under §§2.101(e)(8) or 2.105(a)(5), proceedings on an initial application for a license to receive and possess high-level radioactive waste at a geologic repository operations area, proceedings on enforcement matters unless all parties otherwise agree and request the application of Subpart L procedures, and proceedings for the direct or indirect transfer of control of an NRC license when the transfer requires prior approval of the NRC under the Commission's regulations, governing statutes, or pursuant to a license condition.

[69 FR 2267, Jan. 14, 2004, as amended at 82 FR 52825, Nov. 15, 2017]

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§2.1201   Definitions.

The definitions of terms contained in §2.4 apply to this subpart unless a different definition is provided in this subpart.

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§2.1202   Authority and role of NRC staff.

(a) During the pendency of any hearing under this subpart, consistent with the NRC staff's findings in its review of the application or matter which is the subject of the hearing and as authorized by law, the NRC staff is expected to promptly issue its approval or denial of the application, or take other appropriate action on the underlying regulatory matter for which a hearing was provided. When the NRC staff takes its action, it must notify the presiding officer and the parties to the proceeding of its action. That notice must include the NRC staff's explanation why the public health and safety is protected and why the action is in accord with the common defense and security despite the pendency of the contested matter before the presiding officer. The NRC staff's action on the matter is effective upon issuance by the staff, except in matters involving:

(1) An application to construct and/or operate a production or utilization facility (including an application for a limited work authorization under 10 CFR 50.12, or an application for a combined license under subpart C of 10 CFR part 52);

(2) An application for an early site permit under subpart A of 10 CFR part 52;

(3) An application for a manufacturing license under subpart F of 10 CFR part 52;

(4) An application for an amendment to a construction authorization for a high-level radioactive waste repository at a geologic repository operations area falling under either 10 CFR 60.32(c)(1) or 10 CFR part 63;

(5) An application for the construction and operation of an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) located at a site other than a reactor site or a monitored retrievable storage installation (MRS) under 10 CFR part 72; and

(6) Production or utilization facility licensing actions that involve significant hazards considerations as defined in 10 CFR 50.92.

(b)(1) The NRC staff is not required to be a party to a proceeding under this subpart, except where:

(i) The proceeding involves an application denied by the NRC staff or an enforcement action proposed by the NRC staff; or

(ii) The presiding officer determines that the resolution of any issue in the proceeding would be aided materially by the NRC staff's participation in the proceeding as a party and orders the staff to participate as a party for the identified issue. In the event that the presiding officer determines that the NRC staff's participation is necessary, the presiding officer shall issue an order identifying the issue(s) on which the staff is to participate as well as setting forth the basis for the determination that staff participation will materially aid in resolution of the issue(s).

(2) Within fifteen (15) days of the issuance of the order granting requests for hearing/petitions to intervene and admitting contentions, the NRC staff shall notify the presiding officer and the parties whether it desires to participate as a party, and identify the contentions on which it wishes to participate as a party. If the NRC staff desires to be a party thereafter, the NRC staff shall notify the presiding officer and the parties, identify the contentions on which it wishes to participate as a party, and make the disclosures required by §2.336(b)(3) through (5) unless accompanied by an affidavit explaining why the disclosures cannot be provided to the parties with the notice.

(3) Once the NRC staff chooses to participate as a party, it shall have all the rights and responsibilities of a party with respect to the admitted contention/matter in controversy on which the staff chooses to participate.

[69 FR 2267, Jan. 14, 2004, as amended at 72 FR 49483, Aug. 28, 2007; 77 FR 46598, Aug. 3, 2012]

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§2.1203   Hearing file; prohibition on discovery.

(a)(1) Within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the order granting requests for hearing/petitions to intervene and admitting contentions, the NRC staff shall file in the docket, present to the presiding officer, and make available to the parties to the proceeding a hearing file.

(2) The hearing file must be made available to the parties either by service of hard copies or by making the file available at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov.

(3) The hearing file also must be made available for public inspection and copying at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov, and/or at the NRC Public Document Room.

(b) The hearing file consists of the application, if any, and any amendment to the application, and, when available, any NRC environmental impact statement or assessment and any NRC report related to the proposed action, as well as any correspondence between the applicant/licensee and the NRC that is relevant to the proposed action. Hearing file documents already available at the NRC Web site and/or the NRC Public Document Room when the hearing request/petition to intervene is granted may be incorporated into the hearing file at those locations by a reference indicating where at those locations the documents can be found. The presiding officer shall rule upon any issue regarding the appropriate materials for the hearing file.

(c) The NRC staff has a continuing duty to keep the hearing file up to date with respect to the materials set forth in paragraph (b) of this section and to provide those materials as required in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

(d) Except as otherwise permitted by subpart C of this part, a party may not seek discovery from any other party or the NRC or its personnel, whether by document production, deposition, interrogatories or otherwise.

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§2.1204   Motions and requests.

(a) General requirements. In proceedings under this subpart, requirements for motions and requests and responses to them are as specified in §2.323.

(b) Requests for cross-examination by the parties. (1) In any oral hearing under this subpart, a party may file a motion with the presiding officer to permit cross-examination by the parties on particular admitted contentions or issues. The motion must be accompanied by a cross-examination plan containing the following information:

(i) A brief description of the issue or issues on which cross-examination will be conducted;

(ii) The objective to be achieved by cross-examination; and

(iii) The proposed line of questions that may logically lead to achieving the objective of the cross-examination.

(2) The cross-examination plan may be submitted only to the presiding officer and must be kept by the presiding officer in confidence until issuance of the initial decision on the issue being litigated. The presiding officer shall then provide each cross-examination plan to the Commission's Secretary for inclusion in the official record of the proceeding.

(3) The presiding officer shall allow cross-examination by the parties only if the presiding officer determines that cross-examination by the parties is necessary to ensure the development of an adequate record for decision.

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§2.1205   Summary disposition.

(a) Unless the presiding officer or the Commission directs otherwise, motions for summary disposition may be submitted to the presiding officer by any party no later than 45 days before the commencement of hearing. The motions must be in writing and must include a written explanation of the basis of the motion. The moving party must attach a short and concise statement of material facts for which the moving party contends that there is no genuine issue to be heard. Motions for summary disposition must be served on the parties and the Secretary at the same time that they are submitted to the presiding officer.

(b) Any other party may serve an answer supporting or opposing the motion within twenty (20) days after service of the motion.

(c) The presiding officer shall issue a determination on each motion for summary disposition no later than fifteen (15) days before the date scheduled for commencement of hearing. In ruling on motions for summary disposition, the presiding officer shall apply the standards for summary disposition set forth in subpart G of this part.

[69 FR 2267, Jan. 14, 2004, as amended at 77 FR 46598, Aug. 3, 2012]

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§2.1206   Informal hearings.

Hearings under this subpart will be oral hearings as described in §2.1207, unless, within fifteen (15) days of the service of the order granting the request for hearing, the parties unanimously agree and file a joint motion requesting a hearing consisting of written submissions. A motion to hold a hearing consisting of written submissions will not be entertained unless there is unanimous consent of the parties.

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§2.1207   Process and schedule for submissions and presentations in an oral hearing.

(a) Unless otherwise limited by this subpart or by the presiding officer, participants in an oral hearing may submit and sponsor in the hearings:

(1) Initial written statements of position and written testimony with supporting affidavits on the admitted contentions. These materials must be filed on the dates set by the presiding officer.

(2) Written responses and rebuttal testimony with supporting affidavits directed to the initial statements and testimony of other participants. These materials must be filed within twenty (20) days of the service of the materials submitted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section unless the presiding officer directs otherwise.

(3)(i) Proposed questions for the presiding officer to consider for propounding to the persons sponsoring the testimony. Unless the presiding officer directs otherwise, these questions must be received by the presiding officer no later than twenty (20) days after the service of the materials submitted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, unless that date is less than five (5) days before the scheduled commencement of the oral hearing, in which case the questions must be received by the presiding officer no later than five (5) days before the scheduled commencement of the hearing. Proposed questions need not be filed with any other party.

(ii) Proposed questions directed to rebuttal testimony for the presiding officer to consider for propounding to persons sponsoring the testimony. Unless the presiding officer directs otherwise, these questions must be received by the presiding officer no later than seven (7) days after the service of the rebuttal testimony submitted under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, unless that date is less than five (5) days before the scheduled commencement of the oral hearing, in which case the questions must be received by the presiding officer no later than five (5) days before the scheduled commencement of the hearing. Proposed questions directed to rebuttal need not be filed with any other party.

(iii) Questions submitted under paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section may be propounded at the discretion of the presiding officer. All questions must be kept by the presiding officer in confidence until they are either propounded by the presiding officer, or until issuance of the initial decision on the issue being litigated. The presiding officer shall then provide all proposed questions to the Commission's Secretary for inclusion in the official record of the proceeding.

(b) Oral hearing procedures. (1) The oral hearing must be transcribed.

(2) Written testimony will be received into evidence in exhibit form.

(3) Participants may designate and present their own witnesses to the presiding officer.

(4) Testimony for the NRC staff will be presented only by persons designated by the Executive Director for Operations or his delegee for that purpose.

(5) The presiding officer may accept written testimony from a person unable to appear at the hearing, and may request that person to respond in writing to questions.

(6) Participants and witnesses will be questioned orally or in writing and only by the presiding officer or the presiding officer's designee (e.g., a Special Assistant appointed under §2.322). The presiding officer will examine the participants and witnesses using questions prepared by the presiding officer or the presiding officer's designee, questions submitted by the participants at the discretion of the presiding officer, or a combination of both. Questions may be addressed to individuals or to panels of participants or witnesses. No party may submit proposed questions to the presiding officer at the hearing, except upon request by, and in the sole discretion of, the presiding officer.

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§2.1208   Process and schedule for a hearing consisting of written presentations.

(a) Unless otherwise limited by this subpart or by the presiding officer, participants in a hearing consisting of written presentations may submit:

(1) Initial written statements of position and written testimony with supporting affidavits on the admitted contentions. These materials must be filed on the dates set by the presiding officer;

(2) Written responses, rebuttal testimony with supporting affidavits directed to the initial statements and testimony of witnesses and other participants, and proposed written questions for the presiding officer to consider for submission to the persons sponsoring testimony under paragraph (a)(1) of this section. These materials must be filed within twenty (20) days of the service of the materials submitted under paragraph (a)(1) of this section unless the presiding officer directs otherwise;

(3) Written questions on the written responses and rebuttal testimony submitted under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, which the presiding officer may, in his or her discretion, require the persons offering the written responses and rebuttal testimony to provide responses. These questions must be filed within seven (7) days of service of the materials submitted under paragraph (a)(2) of this section unless the presiding officer directs otherwise; and

(4) Written concluding statements of position on the contentions. These statements shall be filed within twenty (20) days of the service of written responses to the presiding officer's questions to the participants or, in the absence of questions from the presiding officer, within twenty (20) days of the service of the materials submitted under paragraph (a)(2) of this section unless the presiding officer directs otherwise.

(b) The presiding officer may formulate and submit written questions to the participants that he or she considers appropriate to develop an adequate record.

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§2.1209   Findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Each party shall file written post-hearing proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law on the contentions addressed in an oral hearing under §2.1207 or a written hearing under §2.1208 within 30 days of the close of the hearing or at such other time as the presiding officer directs. Proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law must conform to the format requirements in §2.712(c).

[77 FR 46598, Aug. 3, 2012]

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§2.1210   Initial decision and its effect.

(a) Unless the Commission directs that the record be certified to it in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, the presiding officer shall render an initial decision after completion of an informal hearing under this subpart. That initial decision constitutes the final action of the Commission on the contested matter 120 days after the date of issuance, unless:

(1) Any party files a petition for Commission review in accordance with §2.1212;

(2) The Commission, in its discretion, determines that the presiding officer's initial decision is inconsistent with the staff's action as described in the notice required by §2.1202(a) and that the inconsistency warrants Commission review, in which case the Commission will review the initial decision; or

(3) The Commission takes review of the decision sua sponte.

(b) The Commission may direct that the presiding officer certify the record to it without an initial decision and prepare a final decision if the Commission finds that due and timely execution of its functions warrants certification.

(c) An initial decision must be in writing and must be based only upon information in the record or facts officially noticed. The record must include all information submitted in the proceeding with respect to which all parties have been given reasonable prior notice and an opportunity to comment as provided in §§2.1207 or 2.1208. The initial decision must include:

(1) Findings, conclusions, and rulings, with the reasons or basis for them, on all material issues of fact or law admitted as part of the contentions in the proceeding;

(2) The appropriate ruling, order, or grant or denial of relief with its effective date;

(3) The action the NRC staff shall take upon transmittal of the decision to the NRC staff under paragraph (e) of this section, if the initial decision is inconsistent with the NRC staff action as described in the notice required by §2.1202(a); and

(4) The time within which a petition for Commission review may be filed, the time within which any answers to a petition for review may be filed, and the date when the decision becomes final in the absence of a petition for Commission review or Commission sua sponte review.

(d) Pending review and final decision by the Commission, an initial decision resolving all issues before the presiding officer is immediately effective upon issuance except as otherwise provided by this part (e.g., §2.340) or by the Commission in special circumstances.

(e) Once an initial decision becomes final, the Secretary shall transmit the decision to the NRC staff for action in accordance with the decision.

[69 FR 2267, Jan. 14, 2004, as amended at 77 FR 46598, Aug. 3, 2012; 79 FR 66601, Nov. 10, 2014]

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§2.1212   Petitions for Commission review of initial decisions.

Parties may file petitions for review of an initial decision under this subpart in accordance with the procedures set out in §2.341. Unless otherwise authorized by law, a party to an NRC proceeding must file a petition for Commission review before seeking judicial review of an agency action.

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§2.1213   Application for a stay.

(a) Any application for a stay of the effectiveness of the NRC staff's action on a matter involved in a hearing under this subpart must be filed with the presiding officer within five (5) days of the issuance of the notice of the NRC staff's action under §2.1202(a) and must be filed and considered in accordance with paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section.

(b) An application for a stay of the NRC staff's action may not be longer than ten (10) pages, exclusive of affidavits, and must contain:

(1) A concise summary of the action which is requested to be stayed; and

(2) A concise statement of the grounds for a stay, with reference to the factors specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(c) Within ten (10) days after service of an application for a stay of the NRC staff's action under this section, any party and/or the NRC staff may file an answer supporting or opposing the granting of a stay. Answers may not be longer than ten (10) pages, exclusive of affidavits, and must concisely address the matters in paragraph (b) of this section as appropriate. Further replies to answers will not be entertained.

(d) In determining whether to grant or deny an application for a stay of the NRC staff's action, the following will be considered:

(1) Whether the requestor will be irreparably injured unless a stay is granted;

(2) Whether the requestor has made a strong showing that it is likely to prevail on the merits;

(3) Whether the granting of a stay would harm other participants; and

(4) Where the public interest lies.

(e) Any application for a stay of the effectiveness of the presiding officer's initial decision or action under this subpart shall be filed with the Commission in accordance with §2.342.

(f) Stays are not available on matters limited to whether a no significant hazards consideration determination was proper in proceedings on power reactor license amendments.

[69 FR 2267, Jan. 14, 2004, as amended at 77 FR 46598, Aug. 3, 2012]

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