The regulations in this part define the policies and procedures to be followed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the establishment, utilization, and termination of advisory committees. In general, it is the policy of the Commission that -
(a) Except where there is express legal authority to the contrary, the function of NRC advisory committees shall be advisory only.
(b) Each NRC advisory committee shall function in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and this part.
(c) The number of NRC advisory committees shall be kept to the minimum necessary, and the number of members of each NRC advisory committee shall be limited to the fewest necessary to accomplish committee objectives.
(1) An NRC advisory committee shall be established only:
(i) When establishment of the committee is required by law;
(ii) When the Commission determines that the committee is essential to the conduct of NRC business; or
(iii) When the information to be obtained is not available through an existing advisory committee or a source within the Federal Government.
(2) Before establishing an advisory committee, the Commission shall consider whether:
(i) Committee deliberations will result in a significant contribution to the creation, amendment, or elimination of regulations, guidelines, or rules affecting NRC business;
(ii) The information to be obtained is available through another source within the Federal Government;
(iii) The committee will make recommendations resulting in significant improvements in service or reductions in cost; or
(iv) The committee's recommendations will provide an important additional perspective or viewpoint relating to NRC's mission. The advice or recommendations of an advisory committee should be the result of the advisory committee's independent judgment.
(e) Except where otherwise required by law, an NRC advisory committee shall be terminated whenever the stated objectives of the committee have been accomplished, the subject matter or work of the committee has become obsolete, the committee's main functions have been assumed by another entity within the Federal Government, or the cost of operating the committee has become excessive in relation to the benefits accruing to the Federal Government from its activities.
(1) An advisory committee not required to be established by statute terminates no later than two years after its establishment or last renewal, unless renewed.
(2) An advisory committee required to be established by statute terminates upon the expiration of the time explicitly specified in the statute or implied by operation of the statute.
(f) NRC advisory committees shall be balanced in their membership in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed.
(g) The Congress shall be kept informed of the number, purpose, membership, activities, and cost of NRC advisory committees.
(h) NRC advisory committee meetings shall be open to the public, except where closure is determined to be justified under § 7.15.
(i) The Commission may periodically invite feedback from the public regarding the effectiveness of NRC advisory committees.