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Title 10 Part 9 → Subpart C

Title 10 → Chapter I → Part 9 → Subpart C

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 10 Part 9 → Subpart C

e-CFR data is current as of October 17, 2019

Title 10Chapter IPart 9 → Subpart C


Title 10: Energy
PART 9—PUBLIC RECORDS


§9.100   Scope of subpart.

This subpart prescribes procedures pursuant to which NRC meetings shall be open to public observation pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552b. This subpart does not affect the procedures pursuant to which NRC records are made available to the public for inspection and copying which remain governed by subpart A, except that the exemptions set forth in §9.104(a) shall govern in the case of any request made pursuant to §9.23 to copy or inspect the transcripts, recordings, or minutes described in §9.108. Access to records considered at NRC meetings shall continue to be governed by subpart A of this part.

[52 FR 49362, Dec. 31, 1987]

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§9.101   Definitions.

As used in this subpart:

(a) Commission means the collegial body of five Commissioners or a quorum thereof as provided by section 201 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, or any subdivision of that collegial body authorized to act on its behalf, and shall not mean any body not composed of members of that collegial body.

(b) Commissioner means an individual who is a member of the Commission.

(c) Meeting means the deliberations of at least a quorum of Commissioners where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official Commission business, that is, where discussions are sufficiently focused on discrete proposals or issues as to cause or to be likely to cause the individual participating members to form reasonably firm positions regarding matters pending or likely to arise before the agency. Deliberations required or permitted by §§9.105, 9.106, or 9.108(c) do not constitute “meetings” within this definition.

(d) Closed meeting means a meeting of the Commission closed to public observation as provided by §9.104.

(e) Open meeting means a meeting of the Commission open to public observation pursuant to this subpart.

(f) Secretary means the Secretary to the Commission.

(g) General Counsel means the General Counsel of the commission as provided by section 25(b) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and section 201(f) of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, and, until such time as the offices of that officer are in the same location as those of the Commission, any member of his or her office specially designated in writing by him or her pursuant to this subsection to carry out his or her responsibilities under this subpart.

[42 FR 12877, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 50 FR 20891, May 21, 1985]

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§9.102   General requirement.

Commissioners shall not jointly conduct or dispose of Commission business in Commission meetings other than in accordance with this subpart. Except as provided in §9.104, every portion of every meeting of the Commission shall be open to public observation.

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§9.103   General provisions.

The Secretary shall ensure that all open Commission meetings are held in a location such that there is reasonable space and adequate visibility and acoustics, for public observation. No additional right to participate in Commission meetings is granted to any person by this subpart. An open meeting is not part of the formal or informal record of decision of the matters discussed therein except as otherwise required by law. Statements of views or expressions of opinion made by Commissioners or NRC employees at open meetings are not intended to represent final determinations or beliefs. Such statements may not be pleaded, cited, or relied upon before the Commission or in any proceeding under part 2 of these regulations (10 CFR part 2) except as the Commission may direct. Members of the public attending open Commission meetings may use small electronic sound recorders to record the meeting, but the use of other electronic recording equipment and cameras requires the advance written approval of the Secretary.

[42 FR 12877, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 13055, Mar. 29, 1978; 43 FR 37421, Aug. 23, 1978]

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§9.104   Closed meetings.

(a) Except where the Commission finds that the public interest requires otherwise, Commission meetings shall be closed, and the requirements of §§9.105 and 9.107 shall not apply to any information pertaining to such meeting otherwise required by this subpart to be disclosed to the public, where the Commission determines in accordance with the procedures of §9.105 that opening such meetings or portions thereof or disclosing such information, is likely to:

(1) Disclose matters that are (i) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy, and (ii) in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;

(2) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Commission;

(3) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than 5 U.S.C. 552) provided that such statute (i) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (ii) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;

(4) Disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential, including such information as defined in §2.790(d) of this title;

(5) Involve accusing any person of a crime, imposing a civil penalty on any person pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 2282 or 42 U.S.C. 5846, or any revocation of any license pursuant to 42 U.S.C. sec. 2236, or formally censuring any person;

(6) Disclose information of a personal nature where such disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(7) Disclose investigatory reports compiled for law enforcement purposes, including specifically enforcement of the Atomic Energy Act of l1954, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq., and the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 5801 et seq., or information which if written would be contained in such records, but only to the extent that the production of such records or information would: (i) Interfere with enforcement proceedings, (ii) deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (iii) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (iv) disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the case of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source, (v) disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or (vi) endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;

(8) [Reserved]

(9) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed Commission action, except that this subparagraph shall not apply in any instance where the Commission has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of its proposed action, or where the Commission is required to make such disclosure on its own initative prior to taking final action on such proposal; or

(10) Specifically concern the Commission's issuance of a subpoena, or the Commission's participation in a civil action or proceeding or an action or proceeding before a state or federal administrative agency, an action in a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration, or the initiation, conduct or disposition by the Commission of a particular case of formal agency adjudication pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 554 or otherwise involving a determination on the record after an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to part 2 or similar provisions.

(b) Examples of situations in which Commission action may be deemed to be significantly frustrated are: (1) If opening any Commission meeting or negotiations would be likely to disclose information provided or requests made to the Commission in confidence by persons outside the Commission and which would not have been provided or made otherwise; (2) if opening a meeting or disclosing any information would reveal legal or other policy advice, public knowledge of which could substantially affect the outcome or conduct of pending or reasonably anticipated litigation or negotiations; or (3) if opening any meeting or disclosing any information would reveal information requested by or testimony or proposals to be given to other agencies of government, including the Congress and the Executive Branch before the requesting agency would receive the information, testimony or proposals. The examples in the above sentence are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be exhaustive.

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§9.105   Commission procedures.

(a) Action under §9.104 shall be taken only when a majority of the entire membership of the Commission votes to take such action. A separate vote of the Commissioners shall be taken with respect to each Commission meeting a portion or portions of which are proposed to be closed to the public pursuant to §9.104, or which respect to any information which is proposed to be withheld under §9.105(c). A single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings, a portion or portions of which are proposed to be closed to the public, or with respect to any information concerning such series of meetings, so long as each meeting in such series involves the same particular matters and is scheduled to be held no more than thirty days after the initial meeting in such series. The vote of each Commissioner participating in such vote shall be recorded and no proxies shall be allowed.

(b) Within one day of any vote taken pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, §9.106(a), or §9.108(c), the Secretary shall make publicly available at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov, a written copy of such vote reflecting the vote of each member on the question. If a portion of a meeting is to be closed to the public, the Secretary shall, within one day of the vote taken pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section or §9.106(a), make publicly available at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov, a full written explanation of its action closing the portion together with a list of all persons expected to attend the meeting and their affiliation.

(c) The notices and lists required by paragraph (b) of this section to be made public may be withheld from the public to the extent that the Commission determines that such information itself would be protected against disclosure by §9.104(a). Any such determination shall be made independently of the Commission's determination pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section to close a meeting, but in accordance with the procedure of that subsection. Any such determination, including a written explanation for the action and the specific provision or provisions of §9.104(a) relied upon, must be made publicly available to the extent permitted by the circumstances.

[42 FR 12877, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 64 FR 48951, Sept. 9, 1999]

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§9.106   Persons affected and motions for reconsideration.

(a) Whenever any person whose interests may be directly affected by a portion of a meeting requests that the Commission close such portion to the public for any of the reasons referred to in paragraphs (a) (5), (6), or (7) of §9.104, the Commission, upon request of any one Commissioner, shall vote by recorded vote whether to close such meeting.

(b) Any person may petition the Commission to reconsider its action under §9.105(a) or paragraph (a) of this section by filing a petition for reconsideration with the Commission within seven days after the date of such action and before the meeting in question is held.

(c) A petition for reconsideration filed pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section shall state specifically the grounds on which the Commission action is claimed to be erroneous, and shall set forth, if appropriate, the public interest in the closing or opening of the meeting. The filing of such a petition shall not act to stay the effectiveness of the Commission action or to postpone or delay the meeting in question unless the Commission orders otherwise.

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§9.107   Public announcement of Commission meetings.

(a) In the case of each meeting, the Secretary shall make public announcement, at least one week before the meeting, of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and phone number of the official designated by the Commission to respond to requests for information about the meeting. Such announcement shall be made unless a majority of the members of the Commission determines by a recorded vote that Commission business requires that such meeting be called at an earlier date, in which case the Secretary shall make public announcement of the time, place and subject matter of such meeting, and whether open or closed to the public, at the earliest practical time.

(b) The time or place of a meeting may be changed following the public announcement required by paragraph (a) of this section only if the Secretary publicly announces such changes at the earliest practicable time. The subject matter of as meeting, or the determination of the Commission to open or close a meeting, or portion of a meeting, to the public, may be changed following the public announcement required by this subsection only if: (1) A majority of the entire membership of the Commission determines by a recorded vote that Commission business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible, and (2) the Secretary publicly announces such change and the vote of each member upon such change at the earliest practicable time.

(c) Immediately following each public announcement required by this section, notice of the time, place, and subject matter of a meeting, whether the meeting is open or closed, any change in one of the preceding, and the name and phone number of the official designated by the Commission to respond to requests for information about the meeting, shall also be submitted for publication in the Federal Register.

(d) The public announcement required by paragraph (a) of this section shall consist of the Secretary:

(1) Publicly posting a copy of the document at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov and, to the extent appropriate under the circumstances;

(2) Mailing a copy to all persons whose names are on a mailing list maintained for this purpose;

(3) Submitting a copy for possible publication to at least two newspapers of general circulation in the Washington, DC metropolitan area;

(4) Any other means which the Secretary believes will serve to further inform any persons who might be interested.

(e) Action under the second sentence of paragraph (a) or (b) of this section shall be taken only when the Commission finds that the public interest in prompt Commission action or the need to protect the common defense or security or to protect the public health or safety overrides the public interest in having full prior notice of Commission meetings.

[42 FR 12877, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 53 FR 43420, Oct. 27, 1988; 64 FR 48951, Sept. 9, 1999]

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§9.108   Certification, transcripts, recordings and minutes.

(a) For every meeting closed pursuant to paragraphs (a) (1) through (10) of §9.104 and for every determination pursuant to §9.105(c), the General Counsel shall publicly certify at the time of the public announcement of the meeting, or if there is no public announcement at the earliest practical time, that, in his or her opinion, the meeting may be closed to the public and shall state each relevant exemptive provision unless the Commission votes pursuant to §9.105(c) that such certification is protected against disclosure by §9.104(a). A copy of such certification, together with a statement from the presiding officer of the meeting setting forth the time and place of the meeting, and the persons present, shall be retained by the Commission. The Commission shall maintain a complete transcript or electronic recording adequate to record fully the proceedings of each meeting, or portion of a meeting closed to the public, except that in the case of a meeting, or portion of a meeting, closed to the public pursuant to paragraph (c)(10) of §9.104, the Commission shall maintain such a transcript, or recording or a set of minutes. Such minutes shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed and shall provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken, and the reasons therefor, including a description of each of the views expressed on any item and the record of any rollcall vote (reflecting the vote of each Commissioner on the question). All documents considered in connection with any action shall be identified in such minutes.

(b) The Commission shall make promptly available to the public at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov, the transcript, electronic recording, or minutes (as required by paragraph (a) of this section) of the discussion of any item on the agenda, or of any item of the testimony of any witness received at the meeting, except for such item or items of such discussion or testimony as the Commission determines pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section to contain information which may be withheld under §9.104 or §9.105(c). Copies of such transcript, or minutes, or a transcription of such recording disclosing the identity of each speaker, shall be furnished to any person upon payment of the actual cost of duplication or transcription as provided in §9.14. The Secretary shall maintain a complete verbatim copy of the transcript, a complete copy of the minutes, or a complete electronic recording of each meeting, or portion of a meeting, closed to the public, for a period of at least two years after such meeting, or until one year after the conclusion of any Commission proceeding with respect to which the meeting or portion was held, whichever occurs later.

(c) In the case of any meeting closed pursuant to §9.104, the Secretary of the Commission, upon the advice of the General Counsel and after consultation with the Commission, shall determine which, if any, portions of the electronic recording, transcript or minutes and which, if any, items of information withheld pursuant to §9.105(c) contain information which should be withheld pursuant to §9.104, in the event that a request for the recording, transcript, or minutes is received within the period during which the recording, transcript, or minutes must be retained, under paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) If at some later time the Commission determines that there is no further justification for withholding any transcript, recording or other item of information from the public which has previously been withheld, then such information shall be made available.

[42 FR 12877, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 50 FR 20891, May 21, 1985; 64 FR 48951, Sept. 9, 1999]

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§9.109   Report to Congress.

The Secretary shall annually report to the Congress regarding the Commission's compliance with the Government in the Sunshine Act, including a tabulation of the total number of open meetings, the total number of closed meetings, the reasons for closing such meetings and a description of any litigation brought against the Commission pursuant to the Government in the Sunshine Act, including any cost assessed against the Commission in such litigation (whether or not paid by the Commission).

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