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§ 2.341 Review of decisions and actions of a presiding officer.

(a)(1) Review of decisions and actions of a presiding officer are treated under this section; provided, however, that no party may request further Commission review of a Commission determination to allow a period of interim operation under § 52.103(c) of this chapter. This section does not apply to appeals under § 2.311 or to appeals in the high-level waste proceeding, which are governed by § 2.1015.

(2) Within 120 days after the date of a decision or action by a presiding officer, or within 120 days after a petition for review of the decision or action has been served under paragraph (b) of this section, whichever is greater, the Commission may review the decision or action on its own motion, unless the Commission, in its discretion, extends the time for its review.

(b)(1) Within 25 days after service of a full or partial initial decision by a presiding officer, and within 25 days after service of any other decision or action by a presiding officer with respect to which a petition for review is authorized by this part, a party may file a petition for review with the Commission on the grounds specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section. Unless otherwise authorized by law, a party to an NRC proceeding must file a petition for Commission review before seeking judicial review of an agency action.

(2) A petition for review under this paragraph may not be longer than twenty-five (25) pages, and must contain the following:

(i) A concise summary of the decision or action of which review is sought;

(ii) A statement (including record citation) where the matters of fact or law raised in the petition for review were previously raised before the presiding officer and, if they were not, why they could not have been raised;

(iii) A concise statement why in the petitioner's view the decision or action is erroneous; and

(iv) A concise statement why Commission review should be exercised.

(3) Any other party to the proceeding may, within 25 days after service of a petition for review, file an answer supporting or opposing Commission review. This answer may not be longer than 25 pages and should concisely address the matters in paragraph (b)(2) of this section to the extent appropriate. The petitioning party may file a reply brief within 10 days of service of any answer. This reply brief may not be longer than 5 pages.

(4) The petition for review may be granted in the discretion of the Commission, giving due weight to the existence of a substantial question with respect to the following considerations:

(i) A finding of material fact is clearly erroneous or in conflict with a finding as to the same fact in a different proceeding;

(ii) A necessary legal conclusion is without governing precedent or is a departure from or contrary to established law;

(iii) A substantial and important question of law, policy, or discretion has been raised;

(iv) The conduct of the proceeding involved a prejudicial procedural error; or

(v) Any other consideration which the Commission may deem to be in the public interest.

(5) A petition for review will not be granted to the extent that it relies on matters that could have been but were not raised before the presiding officer. A matter raised sua sponte by a presiding officer has been raised before the presiding officer for the purpose of this section.

(6) A petition for review will not be granted as to issues raised before the presiding officer on a pending motion for reconsideration.

(c)(1) If within 120 days after the filing of a petition for review the Commission does not grant the petition, in whole or in part, the petition is deemed to be denied, unless the Commission, in its discretion, extends the time for its consideration of the petition and any answers to the petition.

(2) If a petition for review is granted, the Commission may issue an order specifying the issues to be reviewed and designating the parties to the review proceeding. The Commission may, in its discretion, decide the matter on the basis of the petition for review or it may specify whether any briefs may be filed.

(3) Unless the Commission orders otherwise, any briefs on review may not exceed 30 pages in length, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, table of citations, and any addendum containing appropriate exhibits, statutes, or regulations. A brief in excess of 10 pages must contain a table of contents with page references and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), cited statutes, regulations, and other authorities, with references to the pages of the brief where they are cited.

(d) Petitions for reconsideration of Commission decisions granting or denying review in whole or in part will not be entertained. A petition for reconsideration of a Commission decision after review may be filed within ten (10) days, but is not necessary for exhaustion of administrative remedies. However, if a petition for reconsideration is filed, the Commission decision is not final until the petition is decided. Any petition for reconsideration will be evaluated against the standard in § 2.323(e).

(e) Neither the filing nor the granting of a petition under this section stays the effect of the decision or action of the presiding officer, unless the Commission orders otherwise.

(f) Interlocutory review. (1) A ruling referred or question certified to the Commission under §§ 2.319(l) or 2.323(f) may be reviewed if the certification or referral raises significant and novel legal or policy issues, or resolution of the issues would materially advance the orderly disposition of the proceeding.

(2) The Commission may, in its discretion, grant interlocutory review at the request of a party despite the absence of a referral or certification by the presiding officer. A petition and answer to it must be filed within the times and in the form prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section and must be treated in accordance with the general provisions of this section. The petition for interlocutory review will be granted only if the party demonstrates that the issue for which the party seeks interlocutory review:

(i) Threatens the party adversely affected by it with immediate and serious irreparable impact which, as a practical matter, could not be alleviated through a petition for review of the presiding officer's final decision; or

(ii) Affects the basic structure of the proceeding in a pervasive or unusual manner.

[72 FR 49476, Aug. 28, 2007; 77 FR 46596, Aug. 3, 2012]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014