10 CFR § 70.23 - Requirements for the approval of applications.
(a) An application for a license will be approved if the Commission determines that:
(1) The special nuclear material is to be used for the conduct of research or development activities of a type specified in section 31 of the Act, 1 in activities licensed by the Commission under section 103 or 104 of the Act, or for such other uses as the Commission determines to be appropriate to carry out the purposes of the Act;
1 The types of research and development activities specified in section 31 are those relating to:
(1) Nuclear processes;
(2) The theory and production of atomic energy, including processes, materials, and devices related to such production;
(3) Utilization of special nuclear material and radioactive material for medical, biological, agricultural, health or military purposes;
(4) Utilization of special nuclear material, atomic energy, and radioactive material and processes entailed in the utilization or production of atomic energy or such material for all other purposes, including industrial use, the generation of usable energy, and the demonstration of the practical value of utilization or production facilities for industrial or commercial purposes; and
(5) The protection of health and the promotion of safety during research and production activities.
(2) The applicant is qualified by reason of training and experience to use the material for the purpose requested in accordance with the regulations in this chapter;
(4) The applicant's proposed procedures to protect health and to minimize danger to life or property are adequate;
(5) Where the nature of the proposed activities is such as to require consideration by the Commission, that the applicant appears to be financially qualified to engage in the proposed activities in accordance with the regulations in this part;
(6) Where the applicant is required to submit a summary description of the fundamental material controls provided in his procedures for the control of and accounting for special nuclear material pursuant to § 70.22 (b), the applicant's proposed controls are adequate;
(7) Where the proposed activity is processing and fuel fabrication, scrap recovery, conversion of uranium hexafluoride, uranium enrichment facility construction and operation, or any other activity which the NRC determines will significantly affect the quality of the environment, the Director of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards or his/her designee, before commencement of construction of the plant or facility in which the activity will be conducted, on the basis of information filed and evaluations made pursuant to subpart A of part 51 of this chapter, has concluded, after weighing the environmental, economic, technical, and other benefits against environmental costs and considering available alternatives, that the action called for is the issuance of the proposed license, with any appropriate conditions to protect environmental values. Commencement of construction prior to this conclusion is grounds for denial to possess and use special nuclear material in the plant or facility. Commencement of construction as defined in section 70.4 may include non-construction activities if the activity has a reasonable nexus to radiological safety and security.
(8) Where the proposed activity is the operation of a plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plant, construction of the principal structures, systems, and components approved pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section has been completed in accordance with the application;
(10) Where the applicant is required to submit a physical security plan pursuant to § 70.22(h), the applicant's proposed plan is adequate;
(11) Where the proposed activity is processing and fuel fabrication, scrap recovery, conversion of uranium hexafluoride, or involves the use of special nuclear material in a uranium enrichment facility, the applicant's proposed emergency plan is adequate.
(b) The Commission will approve construction of the principal structures, systems, and components of a plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plant on the basis of information filed pursuant to § 70.22(f) when the Commission has determined that the design bases of the principal structures, systems, and components, and the quality assurance program provide reasonable assurance of protection against natural phenomena and the consequences of potential accidents. 3 Failure to obtain Commission approval prior to beginning of such construction may be grounds for denial of a license to possess and use special nuclear material in a plutonium processing and fuel fabrication plant.