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§ 2.1010 Pre-license application presiding officer.

(a)(1) The Commission may designate one or more members of the Commission, or an atomic safety and licensing board, or a named officer who has been delegated final authority on the matter to serve as the Pre-License Application presiding officer to rule on disputes over the electronic availability of documents during the pre-license application phase, including disputes relating to privilege, and disputes relating to the implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Review Panel established under § 2.1011(d).

(2) The Pre-License Application presiding officer shall be designated at such time during the pre-license application phase as the Commission finds it appropriate, but in any event no later than fifteen days after the DOE certification of initial compliance under § 2.1009(b).

(b) The Pre-License Application presiding officer shall rule on any claim of document withholding to determine—

(1) Whether it is documentary material within the scope of this subpart;

(2) Whether the material is excluded under § 2.1005;

(3) Whether the material is privileged or otherwise excepted from disclosure under § 2.1006;

(4) If privileged, whether it is an absolute or qualified privilege;

(5) If qualified, whether the document should be disclosed because it is necessary to a proper decision in the proceeding;

(6) Whether the material should be disclosed under a protective order containing such protective terms and conditions (including affidavits of nondisclosure) as may be necessary and appropriate to limit the disclosure to potential parties, interested governmental participants, and parties in the proceeding, or to their qualified witnesses and counsel.

(i) The Pre-License Application presiding officer may issue an order requiring disclosure of Safeguards Information if—

(A) The Pre-License Application presiding officer finds that the individual seeking access to Safeguards Information in order to participate in an NRC adjudication has the requisite ‘‘need to know,’’ as defined in 10 CFR 73.2;

(B) The individual has undergone an FBI criminal history records check, unless exempt under 10 CFR 73.22(b)(3) or 73.23(b)(3), as applicable, by submitting fingerprints to the NRC Office of Administration, Security Processing Unit, Mail Stop T–6E46, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, and otherwise following the procedures in 10 CFR 73.57(d) for submitting and processing fingerprints. However, before a final adverse determination by the NRC Office of Administration on an individual’s criminal history records check is made, the individual shall be afforded the protections provided by 10 CFR 73.57; and

(C) The NRC Office of Administration has found, based upon a background check, that the individual is trustworthy and reliable, unless exempt under 10 CFR 73.22(b)(3) or 73.23(b)(3), as applicable. In addition to the protections provided by 10 CFR 73.57 for adverse determinations based on criminal history records checks, the Office of Administration must take the following actions before making a final adverse determination on an individual’s background check for trustworthiness and reliability. The Office of Administration will:

(1) For the purpose of assuring correct and complete information, provide to the individual any records, in addition to those required to be provided under 10 CFR 73.57(e)(1), that were considered in the trustworthiness and reliability determination;

(2) Resolve any challenge by the individual to the completeness or accuracy of the records described in § 2.1010(b)(6)(i)(C)(1). The individual may make this challenge by submitting information and/or an explanation to the Office of Administration. The challenge must be submitted within 10 days of the distribution of the records described in § 2.1010(b)(6)(i)(C)(1), and the Office of Administration must promptly resolve any challenge.

(D) Individuals seeking access to Safeguards Information to participate in an NRC adjudication for whom the NRC Office of Administration has made a final adverse determination on trustworthiness and reliability may submit a request to the Chief Administrative Judge for review of the adverse determination. Upon receiving such a request, the Chief Administrative Judge shall designate an officer other than the Pre-License Application presiding officer to review the adverse determination. For purposes of review, the adverse determination must be in writing and set forth the grounds for the determination. The request for review shall be served on the NRC staff and may include additional information for review by the designated officer. The request must be filed within 15 days after receipt of the adverse determination by the person against whom the adverse determination has been made. Within 10 days of receipt of the request for review and any additional information, the NRC staff will file a response indicating whether the request and additional information has caused the NRC Office of Administration to reverse its adverse determination. The designated officer may reverse the Office of Administration’s final adverse determination only if the officer finds, based on all the information submitted, that the adverse determination constitutes an abuse of discretion. The designated officer’s decision must be rendered within 15 days after receipt of the staff filing indicating that the request for review and additional information has not changed the NRC Office of Administration ’s adverse determination.

(ii) The Pre-License Application presiding officer may include in an order any protective terms and conditions (including affidavits of nondisclosure) as may be necessary and appropriate to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of Safeguards Information.

(iii) When Safeguards Information, protected from disclosure under Section 147 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, is received and possessed by a potential party, interested government participant, or party, other than the NRC staff, it shall also be protected according to the requirements of § 73.21 and the requirements of §§ 73.22 or 73.23 of this chapter, as applicable.

(iv) The Pre-License Application presiding officer may also prescribe such additional procedures as will effectively safeguard and prevent disclosure of Safeguards Information to unauthorized persons with minimum impairment of the procedural rights which would be available if Safeguards Information were not involved.

(v) In addition to any other sanction that may be imposed by the Pre-License Application presiding officer for violation of a provision for the protection of Safeguards Information from unauthorized disclosure that is contained in an order, the entity in violation may be subject to a civil penalty imposed pursuant to § 2.205.

(vi) For the purpose of imposing the criminal penalties contained in Section 223 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, a provision for the protection of Safeguards Information from unauthorized disclosure that is contained in an order issued pursuant to this paragraph is considered to be issued under Section 161b of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.

(c) Upon a final determination that the material is relevant, and not privileged, exempt from disclosure, or otherwise exempt from production under § 2.1005, the potential party, interested governmental participant, or party who asserted the claim of withholding must make the document available in accordance with the provisions of this subpart within five days.

(d) The service of all pleadings and answers, orders, and decisions during the pre-license application phase shall be made according to the procedures specified in § 2.1013(c) and entered into the pre-license application electronic docket.

(e) The Pre-License Application presiding officer possesses all the general powers specified in §§ 2.319 and 2.321(c).

(f) The Commission, in designating the Pre-License Application presiding officer in accordance with paragraphs (a) (1) and (2) of this section, shall specify the jurisdiction of the Officer.

[63 FR 71738, Dec. 30, 1998 as amended at 66 FR 29466, May 31, 2001; 69 FR 2265, Jan. 14, 2004; 73 FR 63569, Oct. 24, 2008; 77 FR 46587, Aug. 3, 2012]

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