§ 51.101 Limitations on actions.
(a) Until a record of decision is issued in connection with a proposed licensing or regulatory action for which an environmental impact statement is required under § 51.20, or until a final finding of no significant impact is issued in connection with a proposed licensing or regulatory action for which an environmental assessment is required under § 51.21:
(1) No action concerning the proposal may be taken by the Commission which would (i) have an adverse environmental impact, or (ii) limit the choice of reasonable alternatives.
(2) Any action concerning the proposal taken by an applicant which would (i) have an adverse environmental impact, or (ii) limit the choice of reasonable alternatives may be grounds for denial of the license. In the case of an application covered by §§ 30.32(f), 40.31(f), 50.10(c), 70.21(f), or §§ 72.16 and 72.34 of this chapter, the provisions of this paragraph will be applied in accordance with §§ 30.33(a)(5), 40.32(e), 50.10 (c) and (e), 70.23(a)(7) or § 72.40(b) of this chapter, as appropriate.
(b) While work on a required program environmental impact statement is in progress, the Commission will not undertake in the interim any major Federal action covered by the program which may significantly affect the quality of the human environment unless such action:
(1) Is justified independently of the program;
(2) Is itself accompanied by an adequate environmental impact statement; and
(3) Will not prejudice the ultimate decision on the program. Absent any satisfactory explanation to the contrary, interim action which tends to determine subsequent development or limit reasonable alternatives, will be considered prejudicial.
(c) This section does not preclude any applicant for an NRC permit, license, or other form of permission, or amendment to or renewal of an NRC permit, license, or other form of permission, (1) from developing any plans or designs necessary to support an application; or (2) after prior notice and consultation with NRC staff, (i) from performing any physical work necessary to support an application, or (ii) from performing any other physical work relating to the proposed action if the adverse environmental impact of that work is de minimis.
[49 FR 9381, Mar. 12, 1984, as amended at 53 FR 31682, Aug. 19, 1988]