10 CFR 50.91, Notice for Public Comment; State Consultation
Notice for public comment; State consultation
The Commission will use the following procedures for an application requesting an amendment to an operating license under this part or a combined license under part 52 of this chapter for a facility licensed under §§ 50.21(b) or 50.22, or for a testing facility, except for amendments subject to hearings governed by 10 CFR part 2, subpart L. For amendments subject to 10 CFR part 2, subpart L, the following procedures will apply only to the extent specifically referenced in § 2.309(b) of this chapter, except that notice of opportunity for hearing must be published in the Federal Register at least 30 days before the requested amendment is issued by the Commission:
(a) Notice for public comment. (1) At the time a licensee requests an amendment, it must provide to the Commission, in accordance with the distribution requirements specified in § 50.4, its analysis about the issue of no significant hazards consideration using the standards in § 50.92.
- (2)(i) The Commission may publish in the Federal Register under § 2.105 an individual notice of proposed action for an amendment for which it makes a proposed determination that no significant hazards consideration is involved, or, at least once every 30 days, publish a periodic Federal Register notice of proposed actions which identifies each amendment issued and each amendment proposed to be issued since the last such periodic notice, or it may publish both such notices.
- (ii) For each amendment proposed to be issued, the notice will (A) contain the staff's proposed determination, under the standards in § 50.92, (B) provide a brief description of the amendment and of the facility involved, (C) solicit public comments on the proposed determination, and (D) provide for a 30-day comment period.
- (iii) The comment period will begin on the day after the date of the publication of the first notice, and, normally, the amendment will not be granted until after this comment period expires.
- (3) The Commission may inform the public about the final disposition of an amendment request for which it has made a proposed determination of no significant hazards consideration either by issuing an individual notice of issuance under § 2.106 of this chapter or by publishing such a notice in its periodic system of Federal Register notices. In either event, it will not make and will not publish a final determination on no significant hazards consideration, unless it receives a request for a hearing on that amendment request.
- (4) Where the Commission makes a final determination that no significant hazards consideration is involved and that the amendment should be issued, the amendment will be effective on issuance, even if adverse public comments have been received and even if an interested person meeting the provisions for intervention called for in § 2.309 of this chapter has filed a request for a hearing. The Commission need hold any required hearing only after it issues an amendment, unless it determines that a significant hazards consideration is involved, in which case the Commission will provide an opportunity for a prior hearing.
- (5) Where the Commission finds that an emergency situation exists, in that failure to act in a timely way would result in derating or shutdown of a nuclear power plant, or in prevention of either resumption of operation or of increase in power output up to the plant's licensed power level, it may issue a license amendment involving no significant hazards consideration without prior notice and opportunity for a hearing or for public comment. In such a situation, the Commission will not publish a notice of proposed determination on no significant hazards consideration, but will publish a notice of issuance under § 2.106 of this chapter, providing for opportunity for a hearing and for public comment after issuance. The Commission expects its licensees to apply for license amendments in timely fashion. It will decline to dispense with notice and comment on the determination of no significant hazards consideration if it determines that the licensee has abused the emergency provision by failing to make timely application for the amendment and thus itself creating the emergency. Whenever an emergency situation exists, a licensee requesting an amendment must explain why this emergency situation occurred and why it could not avoid this situation, and the Commission will assess the licensee's reasons for failing to file an application sufficiently in advance of that event.
- (6) Where the Commission finds that exigent circumstances exist, in that a licensee and the Commission must act quickly and that time does not permit the Commission to publish a Federal Register notice allowing 30 days for prior public comment, and it also determines that the amendment involves no significant hazards considerations, it:
(i)(A) Will either issue a Federal Register notice providing notice of an opportunity for hearing and allowing at least two weeks from the date of the notice for prior public comment; or
- (B) Will use local media to provide reasonable notice to the public in the area surrounding a licensee's facility of the licensee's amendment and of its proposed determination as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, consulting with the licensee on the proposed media release and on the geographical area of its coverage;
- (ii) Will provide for a reasonable opportunity for the public to comment, using its best efforts to make available to the public whatever means of communication it can for the public to respond quickly, and, in the case of telephone comments, have these comments recorded or transcribed, as necessary and appropriate;
- (iii) When it has issued a local media release, may inform the licensee of the public's comments, as necessary and appropriate;
- (iv) Will publish a notice of issuance under § 2.106;
- (v) Will provide a hearing after issuance, if one has been requested by a person who satisfies the provisions for intervention specified in § 2.309 of this chapter;
- (vi) Will require the licensee to explain the exigency and why the licensee cannot avoid it, and use its normal public notice and comment procedures in paragraph (a)(2) of this section if it determines that the licensee has failed to use its best efforts to make a timely application for the amendment in order to create the exigency and to take advantage of this procedure.
- (7) Where the Commission finds that significant hazards considerations are involved, it will issue a Federal Register notice providing an opportunity for a prior hearing even in an emergency situation, unless it finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.
(b) State consultation. (1) At the time a licensee requests an amendment, it must notify the State in which its facility is located of its request by providing that State with a copy of its application and its reasoned analysis about no significant hazards considerations and indicate on the application that it has done so. (The Commission will make available to the licensee the name of the appropriate State official designated to receive such amendments.)
- (2) The Commission will advise the State of its proposed determination about no significant hazards consideration normally by sending it a copy of the Federal Register notice.
- (3) The Commission will make available to the State official designated to consult with it about its proposed determination the names of the Project Manager or other NRC personnel it designated to consult with the State. The Commission will consider any comments of that State official. If it does not hear from the State in a timely manner, it will consider that the State has no interest in its determination; nonetheless, to ensure that the State is aware of the application, before it issues the amendment, it will make a good faith effort to telephone that official. (Inability to consult with a responsible State official following good faith attempts will not prevent the Commission from making effective a license amendment involving no significant hazards consideration.)
- (4) The Commission will make a good faith attempt to consult with the State before it issues a license amendment involving no significant hazards consideration. If, however, it does not have time to use its normal consultation procedures because of an emergency situation, it will attempt to telephone the appropriate State official. (Inability to consult with a responsible State official following good faith attempts will not prevent the Commission from making effective a license amendment involving no significant hazards consideration, if the Commission deems it necessary in an emergency situation.)
- (5) After the Commission issues the requested amendment, it will send a copy of its determination to the State.
(c) Caveats about State consultation. (1) The State consultation procedures in paragraph (b) of this section do not give the State a right:
- (i) To veto the Commission's proposed or final determination;
- (ii) To a hearing on the determination before the amendment becomes effective; or
- (iii) To insist upon a postponement of the determination or upon issuance of the amendment.
- (2) These procedures do not alter present provisions of law that reserve to the Commission exclusive responsibility for setting and enforcing radiological health and safety requirements for nuclear power plants.
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