(a) In addition to complying with applicable requirements of § 51.104, in a proceeding for the issuance of a construction permit or early site permit for a nuclear power reactor, testing facility, fuel reprocessing plant or isotopic enrichment plant, the presiding officer will:
(1) Determine whether the requirements of Sections 102(2) (A), (C), and (E) of NEPA and the regulations in this subpart have been met;
(2) Independently consider the final balance among conflicting factors contained in the record of the proceeding with a view to determining the appropriate action to be taken;
(3) Determine, after weighing the environmental, economic, technical, and other benefits against environmental and other costs, and considering reasonable alternatives, whether the construction permit or early site permit should be issued, denied, or appropriately conditioned to protect environmental values;
(4) Determine, in an uncontested proceeding, whether the NEPA review conducted by the NRC staff has been adequate; and
(5) Determine, in a contested proceeding, whether in accordance with the regulations in this subpart, the construction permit or early site permit should be issued as proposed by the NRC's Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
(b) The presiding officer in an early site permit hearing shall not admit contentions proffered by any party concerning the benefits assessment (e.g., need for power) or alternative energy sources if those issues were not addressed by the applicant in the early site permit application.
(1) In addition to complying with the applicable provisions of § 51.104, in any proceeding for the issuance of a construction permit for a nuclear power plant or an early site permit under part 52 of this chapter, where the applicant requests a limited work authorization under § 50.10(d) of this chapter, the presiding officer shall -
(i) Determine whether the requirements of Section 102(2)(A), (C), and (E) of NEPA and the regulations in the subpart have been met, with respect to the activities to be conducted under the limited work authorization;
(ii) Independently consider the balance among conflicting factors with respect to the limited work authorization which is contained in the record of the proceeding, with a view to determining the appropriate action to be taken;
(iii) Determine whether the redress plan will adequately redress the activities performed under the limited work authorization, should limited work activities be terminated by the holder or the limited work authorization be revoked by the NRC, or upon effectiveness of the Commission's final decision denying the associated construction permit or early site permit, as applicable;
(iv) In an uncontested proceeding, determine whether the NEPA review conducted by the NRC staff for the limited work authorization has been adequate; and
(v) In a contested proceeding, determine whether, in accordance with the regulations in this subpart, the limited work authorization should be issued as proposed.
(2) If the limited work authorization is for activities to be conducted at a site for which the Commission has previously prepared an environmental impact statement for the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant, and a construction permit was issued but construction of the plant was never completed, then in making the determinations in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the presiding officer shall be limited to a consideration whether there is, with respect to construction activities encompassed by the environmental impact statement which are analogous to the activities to be conducted under the limited work authorization, new and significant information on the environmental impacts of those activities, such that the limited work authorization should not be issued as proposed.
(3) The presiding officer's determination in this paragraph shall be made in a partial initial decision to be issued separately from, and in advance of, the presiding officer's decision in paragraph (a) of this section.