42 U.S. Code § 2286b - Powers of Board

(a) Hearings
(1)
The Board or a member authorized by the Board may, for the purpose of carrying out this subchapter, hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and places, and require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such evidence as the Board or an authorized member may find advisable.
(2)
(A)
Subpoenas may be issued only under the signature of the Chairman or any member of the Board designated by him and shall be served by any person designated by the Chairman, any member, or any person as otherwise provided by law. The attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence may be required from any place in the United States at any designated place of hearing in the United States.
(B)
Any member of the Board may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before the Board.
(C)
If a person issued a subpoena under paragraph (1) refuses to obey such subpoena or is guilty of contumacy, any court of the United States within the judicial district within which the hearing is conducted or within the judicial district within which such person is found or resides or transacts business may (upon application by the Board) order such person to appear before the Board to produce evidence or to give testimony relating to the matter under investigation. Any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt of the court.
(D)
The subpoenas of the Board shall be served in the manner provided for subpoenas issued by a United States district court under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States district courts.
(E)
All process of any court to which application may be made under this section may be served in the judicial district in which the person required to be served resides or may be found.
(b) Staff
(1) The Board may, for the purpose of performing its responsibilities under this subchapter—
(A)
in accordance with section 2286(c)(6) of this title, hire such staff as it considers necessary to perform the functions of the Board, including such scientific and technical personnel as the Board may determine necessary, but not more than the equivalent of 130 full-time employees; and
(B)
procure the temporary and intermittent services of experts and consultants to the extent authorized by section 3109(b) of title 5 at rates the Board determines to be reasonable.
(2)
The authority and requirements provided in section 2201(d) of this title with respect to officers and employees of the Commission shall apply with respect to scientific and technical personnel hired under paragraph (1)(A).
(3)
(A)
The Board shall have an Executive Director of Operations who shall be appointed under section 2286(c)(6) of this title.
(B)
The Executive Director of Operations shall report to the Chairman.
(C) The Executive Director of Operations shall be the senior employee of the Board responsible for—
(i)
general administration and technical matters;
(ii)
ensuring that the members of the Board are fully and currently informed with respect to matters for which the members are responsible; and
(iii)
the functions delegated by the Chairman pursuant to section 2286(c)(3)(B) of this title.
(4)
Subject to the approval of the Board, the Chairman may organize the staff of the Board as the Chairman considers appropriate to best accomplish the mission of the Board described in section 2286a(a) of this title.
(c) Regulations

The Board may prescribe regulations to carry out the responsibilities of the Board under this subchapter.

(d) Reporting requirements

The Board may establish reporting requirements for the Secretary of Energy which shall be binding upon the Secretary. The information which the Board may require the Secretary of Energy to report under this subsection may include any information designated as classified information, or any information designated as safeguards information and protected from disclosure under section 2167 or 2168 of this title.

(e) Use of Government facilities, etc.

The Board may, for the purpose of carrying out its responsibilities under this subchapter, use any facility, contractor, or employee of any other department or agency of the Federal Government with the consent of and under appropriate support arrangements with the head of such department or agency and, in the case of a contractor, with the consent of the contractor.

(f) Assistance from certain agencies of Federal Government

With the consent of and under appropriate support arrangements with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Board may obtain the advice and recommendations of the staff of the Commission on matters relating to the Board’s responsibilities and may obtain the advice and recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards on such matters.

(g) Assistance from organizations outside Federal Government

Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the use of competitive procedures, the Board may enter into an agreement with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences or any other appropriate group or organization of experts outside the Federal Government chosen by the Board to assist the Board in carrying out its responsibilities under this subchapter.

(h) Resident inspectors

The Board may assign staff to be stationed at any Department of Energy defense nuclear facility to carry out the functions of the Board.

(i) Special studies

The Board may conduct special studies pertaining to adequate protection of public health and safety at any Department of Energy defense nuclear facility.

(j) Evaluation of informationThe Board may evaluate information received from the scientific and industrial communities, and from the interested public, with respect to—
(1)
events or practices at any Department of Energy defense nuclear facility; or
(2)
suggestions for specific measures to improve the content of standards described in section 2286a(b)(1) of this title, the implementation of such standards, or research relating to such standards at Department of Energy defense nuclear facilities.
(k) Nonpublic collaborative discussions
(1) In generalNotwithstanding section 552b of title 5, a quorum of the members of the Board may hold a meeting that is not open to public observation to discuss official business of the Board if—
(A)
no formal or informal vote or other official action is taken at the meeting;
(B)
each individual present at the meeting is a member or an employee of the Board;
(C)
at least one member of the Board from each political party is present at the meeting, unless all members of the Board are of the same political party at the time of the meeting; and
(D)
the general counsel of the Board, or a designee of the general counsel, is present at the meeting.
(2) Disclosure of nonpublic collaborative discussions
(A) In generalExcept as provided by subparagraph (B), not later than two business days after the conclusion of a meeting described in paragraph (1), the Board shall make available to the public, in a place easily accessible to the public—
(i)
a list of the individuals present at the meeting; and
(ii)
a summary of the matters, including key issues, discussed at the meeting, except for any matter the Board properly determines may be withheld from the public under section 552b(c) of title 5.
(B) Information about matters withheld from public

If the Board properly determines under subparagraph (A)(ii) that a matter may be withheld from the public under section 552b(c) of title 5, the Board shall include in the summary required by that subparagraph as much general information as possible with respect to the matter.

(3) Rules of constructionNothing in this subsection may be construed—
(A) to limit the applicability of section 552b of title 5 with respect to—
(i)
a meeting of the members of the Board other than a meeting described in paragraph (1); or
(ii)
any information that is proposed to be withheld from the public under paragraph (2)(A)(ii); or
(B)
to authorize the Board to withhold from any individual any record that is accessible to that individual under section 552a of title 5.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(D), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendments

2021—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 116–283 added subsec. (k).

2019—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 116–92, § 3202(a)(4)(A), substituted “section 2286(c)(6)” for “section 2286(c)(7)”.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 116–92, § 3202(a)(1)(A), added par. (3).

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 116–92, § 3202(a)(4)(B), added par. (4).

2015—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 114–92 substituted “in accordance with section 2286(c)(7) of this title, hire” for “hire”.

2014—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 113–291 substituted “130 full-time employees” for “150 full-time employees”.

2013—Subsec. (j)(2). Pub. L. 112–239 substituted “section 2286a(b)(1) of this title, the implementation” for “section 2286a(1) of this title, the implementation”.

1991—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 102–190, § 3202(a)(1), substituted “150” for “100”.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–190, § 3202(a)(2), substituted “Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the use of competitive procedures, the Board may” for “The Board may”.

1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–510 designated existing provisions as par. (1), redesignated former pars. (1) and (2) as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, inserted “including such scientific and technical personnel as the Board may determine necessary,” after “Board,” in subpar. (A), and added par. (2).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2014 Amendment

Pub. L. 113–291, div. C, title XXXII, § 3203(b), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3903, provided that:

“The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect on October 1, 2015.”