(a) If the request is expected to require the NRC to assess fees in excess of $25 for search and/or duplication, the NRC will notify the requester that fees will be assessed unless the requester has indicated in advance his or her willingness to pay fees as high as estimated.
(b) In the notification, the NRC will include the estimated cost of search fees and the nature of the search required and estimated cost of duplicating fees.
(c) The NRC will encourage requesters to discuss with the NRC the possibility of narrowing the scope of the request with the goal of reducing the cost while retaining the requester's original objective.
(d) If the fee is determined to be in excess of $250, the NRC will require an advance payment.
(e) Unless a requester has agreed to pay the estimated fees or, as provided for in paragraph (d) of this section, the requester has paid an estimated fee in excess of $250, the NRC may not begin to process the request.
(f) If the NRC receives a new request and determines that the requester has previously failed to pay a properly charged fee under the Freedom of Information Act to the NRC or other Federal agency within 30 calendar days of receipt of the bill on a previous request, the NRC may refuse to accept the new request for processing until payment is made of the full amount owed on the prior request, plus any applicable interest assessed as provided in § 9.34.
(g) Within 10 working days of the receipt of NRC's notice that fees will be assessed, the requester will provide advance payment if required, notify the NRC in writing that the requester agrees to bear the estimated costs, or submit a request for a waiver or reduction of fees pursuant to § 9.41.