The Board's power to issue recommendations to the Secretary of Energy is outlined in our Enabling Legislation, stating that "the Board shall make such recommendations to the Secretary of Energy with respect to Department of Energy defense nuclear facilities, including operations of such facilities, standards, and research needs, as the Board determines are necessary to ensure adequate protection of public health and safety. In making its recommendations the Board shall consider the technical and economic feasibility of implementing the recommended measures."
Once the Board makes a recommendation, the Secretary of the Department of Energy must respond within 45 days of its publication in the Federal Register. The Secretary may accept or reject the Board's recommendation in whole or in part. Further, the Secretary must submit an Implementation Plan to the Board for each accepted recommendation within 90 days of the date the Secretary's acceptance of the recommendation is published in the Federal Register.