United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

§ 2.202 Orders.

(a) The Commission may institute a proceeding to modify, suspend, or revoke a license or to take such other action as may be proper by serving on the licensee or other person subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission an order that will:

(1) Allege the violations with which the licensee or other person subject to the Commission's jurisdiction is charged, or the potentially hazardous conditions or other facts deemed to be sufficient ground for the proposed action, and specify the action proposed;

(2) Provide that the licensee or other person must file a written answer to the order under oath or affirmation within twenty (20) days of its date, or such other time as may be specified in the order;

(3) Inform the licensee or any other person adversely affected by the order of his or her right, within twenty (20) days of the date of the order, or such other time as may be specified in the order, to demand a hearing on all or part of the order, except in a case where the licensee or other person has consented in writing to the order;

(4) Specify the issues for hearing; and

(5) State the effective date of the order; if the Commission finds that the public health, safety, or interest so requires or that the violation or conduct causing the violation is willful, the order may provide, for stated reasons, that the proposed action be immediately effective pending further order.

(b) A licensee or other person to whom the Commission has issued an order under this section must respond to the order by filing a written answer under oath or affirmation. The answer shall specifically admit or deny each allegation or charge made in the order, and shall set forth the matters of fact and law on which the licensee or other person relies, and, if the order is not consented to, the reasons as to why the order should not have been issued. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the answer may demand a hearing.

(c) If the answer demands a hearing, the Commission will issue an order designating the time and place of hearing.

(1) If the answer demands a hearing with respect to an immediately effective order, the hearing will be conducted expeditiously, giving due consideration to the rights of the parties.

(2)(i) The licensee or other person to whom the Commission has issued an immediately effective order in accordance with paragraph (a)(5) of this section, may, in addition to demanding a hearing, at the time the answer is filed or sooner, file a motion with the presiding officer to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the order on the ground that the order, including the need for immediate effectiveness, is not based on adequate evidence but on mere suspicion, unfounded allegations, or error. The motion must state with particularity the reasons why the order is not based on adequate evidence and must be accompanied by affidavits or other evidence relied on.

(ii) Any party may file a motion with the presiding officer requesting that the presiding officer order live testimony. Any motion for live testimony must be made in conjunction with the motion to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the order or any party's response thereto. The presiding officer may, on its own motion, order live testimony. The presiding officer's basis for approving any motion for, or ordering on its own motion, live testimony shall be that taking live testimony would assist in its decision on the motion to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the order.

(iii) The NRC staff shall respond in writing within 5 days of the receipt of either a motion to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the order or the presiding officer's order denying a motion for live testimony. In cases in which the presiding officer orders live testimony, the staff may present its response through live testimony rather than a written response.

(iv) The presiding officer shall conduct any live testimony pursuant to its powers in § 2.319 of this part, except that no subpoenas, discovery, or referred rulings or certified questions to the Commission shall be permitted for this purpose.

(v) The presiding officer may, on motion by the staff or any other party to the proceeding, where good cause exists, delay the hearing on the immediately effective order at any time for such periods as are consistent with the due process rights of the licensee or other person and other affected parties.

(vi) The licensee or other person challenging the immediate effectiveness of an order bears the burden of going forward with evidence that the immediately effective order is not based on adequate evidence, but on mere suspicion, unfounded allegations, or error. The NRC staff bears the burden of persuading the presiding officer that adequate evidence supports the grounds for the immediately effective order and immediate effectiveness is warranted.

(vii) The presiding officer shall issue a decision on the motion to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the order expeditiously. During the pendency of the motion to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the order or at any other time, the presiding officer may not stay the immediate effectiveness of the order, either on its own motion, or upon motion of the licensee or other person.

(viii) The presiding officer shall uphold the immediate effectiveness of the order if it finds that there is adequate evidence to support immediate effectiveness. An order upholding immediate effectiveness will constitute the final agency action on immediate effectiveness. The presiding officer will promptly refer an order setting aside immediate effectiveness to the Commission and such order setting aside immediate effectiveness will not be effective pending further order of the Commission.

(d) An answer may consent to the entry of an order in substantially the form proposed in the order with respect to all or some of the actions proposed in the order. The consent, in the answer or other written document, of the licensee or other person to whom the order has been issued to the entry of an order shall constitute a waiver by the licensee or other person of a hearing, findings of fact and conclusions of law, and of all right to seek Commission and judicial review or to contest the validity of the order in any forum as to those matters which have been consented to or agreed to or on which a hearing has not been requested. An order that has been consented to shall have the same force and effect as an order made after hearing by a presiding officer or the Commission, and shall be effective as provided in the order.

(e)(1) If the order involves the modification of a part 50 license and is a backfit, the requirements of § 50.109 of this chapter shall be followed, unless the licensee has consented to the action required.

(2) If the order involves the modification of combined license under subpart C of part 52 of this chapter, the requirements of § 52.98 of this chapter shall be followed unless the licensee has consented to the action required.

(3) If the order involves a change to an early site permit under subpart A of part 52 of this chapter, the requirements of § 52.39 of this chapter must be followed, unless the applicant or licensee has consented to the action required.

(4) If the order involves a change to a standard design certification rule referenced by that plant’s application, the requirements, if any, in the referenced design certification rule with respect to changes must be followed, or, in the absence of these requirements, the requirements of § 52.63 of this chapter must be followed, unless the applicant or licensee has consented to follow the action required.

(5) If the order involves a change to a standard design approval referenced by that plant’s application, the requirements of § 52.145 of this chapter must be followed unless the applicant or licensee has consented to follow the action required.

(6) If the order involves a modification of a manufacturing license under subpart F of part 52, the requirements of § 52.171 of this chapter must be followed, unless the applicant or licensee has consented to the action required.

[56 FR 40684, Aug. 15, 1991, as amended at 57 FR 20198, May 12, 1992; 72 FR 49474, Aug. 28, 2007; 80 FR 63419, Oct. 20, 2015]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, December 02, 2015