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§ 2.347 Ex parte communications.

In any proceeding under this subpart—

(a)(1) Interested persons outside the agency may not make or knowingly cause to be made to any Commission adjudicatory employee, any ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding.

(2) For purposes of this section, merits of the proceeding includes:

(i) A disputed issue;

(ii) A matter which a presiding officer seeks to be referred to the Commission under 10 CFR 2.340(a); and

(iii) A matter for which the Commission has approved examination by the presiding officer under § 2.340(a).

(b) Commission adjudicatory employees may not request or entertain from any interested person outside the agency or make or knowingly cause to be made to any interested person outside the agency, any ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding.

(c) Any Commission adjudicatory employee who receives, makes, or knowingly causes to be made a communication prohibited by this section shall ensure that it, and any responses to the communication, are promptly served on the parties and placed in the public record of the proceeding. In the case of oral communications, a written summary must be served and placed in the public record of the proceeding.

(d) Upon receipt of a communication knowingly made or knowingly caused to be made by a party in violation of this section, the Commission or other adjudicatory employee presiding in a proceeding may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policy of the underlying statutes, require the party to show cause why its claim or interest in the proceeding should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected on account of the violation.

(e) (1) The prohibitions of this section apply—

(i) When a notice of hearing or other comparable order is issued in accordance with §§ 2.104(a), 2.105(e)(2), 2.202(c), 2.205(e), or 2.312; or

(ii) Whenever the interested person or Commission adjudicatory employee responsible for the communication has knowledge that a notice of hearing or other comparable order will be issued in accordance with §§ 2.104(a), 2.105(e)(2), 2.202(c), 2.205(e), or 2.312.

(2) The prohibitions of this section cease to apply to ex parte communications relevant to the merits of a full or partial initial decision when, in accordance with § 2.341, the time has expired for Commission review of the decision.

(f) The prohibitions in this section do not apply to—

(1) Requests for and the provision of status reports;

(2) Communications specifically permitted by statute or regulation;

(3) Communications made to or by Commission adjudicatory employees in the Office of the General Counsel regarding matters pending before a court or another agency; and

(4) Communications regarding generic issues involving public health and safety or other statutory responsibilities of the agency (e.g., rulemakings, congressional hearings on legislation, budgetary planning) not associated with the resolution of any proceeding under this subpart pending before the NRC.

(5) Communications, in contested proceedings and uncontested mandatory proceeding, regarding an undisputed issue.

[72 FR 49476, Aug. 28, 2007; 77 FR 46597, Aug. 3, 2012]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014