(a) In any proceeding involving an application for a construction authorization for a HLW repository at a geologic repository operations area under parts 60 or 63 of this chapter, or an application for a license to receive and possess high-level radioactive waste at a geologic repository operations area pursuant to parts 60 or 63 of this chapter, the Commission or the presiding officer will direct the parties, interested governmental participants and any petitioners for intervention, or their counsel, to appear at a specified time and place, within seventy days after the notice of hearing is published, or such other time as the Commission or the presiding officer may deem appropriate, for a conference to:
(1) Permit identification of the key issues in the proceeding;
(2) Take any steps necessary for further identification of the issues;
(3) Consider all intervention petitions to allow the Presiding Officer to make such preliminary or final determination as to the parties and interested governmental participants, as may be appropriate;
(4) Establish a schedule for further actions in the proceeding; and
(5) Establish a discovery schedule for the proceeding taking into account the objective of meeting the three year time schedule specified in section 114(d) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 10134(d).
(b) The Presiding Officer may order any further formal and informal conferences among the parties and interested governmental participants including teleconferences, to the extent that it considers that such a conference would expedite the proceeding.
(c) A prehearing conference held pursuant to this section shall be stenographically reported.
(d) The Presiding Officer shall enter an order which recites the action taken at the conference, the schedule for further actions in the proceeding, and any agreements by the parties, and which identifies the key issues in the proceeding, makes a preliminary or final determination as to the parties and interested governmental participants in the proceeding, and provides for the submission of status reports on discovery.