NRC to publish notice on e-submissions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) wants to mandate electronic filings for all agency hearings to speed proceedings and reduce costs.

NRC is seeking public comment on the proposed rule, which would require electronic submissions to all of the agency’s adjudicatory boards and other parties in proceedings, according to an agency press release. The agency would make exceptions to allow paper filings in limited situations.

Currently, electronic submissions are required only for applications for high-level radioactive waste repositories.

“Since 2001, the NRC has encouraged power reactor licensees to submit documents either through an electronic information exchange system or on CD-ROM,” the release states.

“In 2003 the NRC issued a final rule that allowed licensees, vendors, applicants and members of the public to submit documents, including Freedom of Information Act requests, in an electronic format,” the release states. “Almost all parties in adjudicatory proceedings currently file by electronic mail, although they are not required to do so.”

The commission will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register soon. The public can comment on the rule and related draft guidance within 75 days after the notice’s publication.

The NRC will hold a public meeting Jan. 10 to demonstrate electronic filings at the agency’s headquarters.

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