(a) In addition to complying with the applicable requirements of § 51.104, in a proceeding for the issuance of a combined license for a nuclear power reactor under part 52 of this chapter, 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 combined license 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 combined license should be issued as proposed by the NRC's Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
(b) If a combined license application references an early site permit, then the presiding officer in the combined license hearing shall not admit any contention proffered by any party on environmental issues which have been accorded finality under § 52.39 of this chapter, unless the contention:
(1) Demonstrates that the nuclear power reactor proposed to be built does not fit within one or more of the site characteristics or design parameters included in the early site permit;
(2) Raises any significant environmental issue that was not resolved in the early site permit proceeding; or
(3) Raises any issue involving the impacts of construction and operation of the facility that was resolved in the early site permit proceeding for which new and significant information has been identified.
(c) If the combined license application references a standard design certification, or proposes to use a manufactured reactor, then the presiding officer in a combined license hearing shall not admit contentions proffered by any party concerning severe accident mitigation design alternatives unless the contention demonstrates that the site characteristics fall outside of the site parameters in the standard design certification or underlying manufacturing license for the manufactured reactor.
(1) In any proceeding for the issuance of a combined license where the applicant requests a limited work authorization under § 50.10(d) of this chapter, the presiding officer, in addition to complying with any applicable provision of § 51.104, shall:
(i) Determine whether the requirements of Section 102(2)(A), (C), and (E) of NEPA and the regulations in this 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 combined license application;
(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 by the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
(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, so that the limited work authorization should not be issued as proposed by the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
(3) In making the determination required by this section, the presiding officer may not address or consider the sunk costs associated with the limited work authorization.
(4) 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 on the combined license.