Senate confirms Macfarlane, Svinicki to NRC

The U.S. Senate on June 29 confirmed Allison Macfarlane and Kristine Svinicki as commissioners at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Macfarlane will take over as Chair of the commission, while the re-nomination of Svinicki to remain a commissioner of the NRC allows her to begin her second term.

"These are important and challenging times with regard to America's energy policies and its future energy security,” said Marvin Fertel, The Nuclear Energy Institute's president and chief executive officer. "The nuclear energy industry congratulates both Allison Macfarlane on her confirmation as a commissioner at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and designation by President Obama as chairman, and Kristine Svinicki on her confirmation to a second term as NRC commissioner.”

Macfarlane is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University in Virginia.  She currently serves as a member of the White House’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.  In 2006, MIT Press published her book, “Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste,” which explores the technical issues for nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

“I am pleased that the Senate quickly confirmed Dr. Allison Macfarlane as the next chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” said Nevada Senator Harry Reid.  “Her experience and focus on the safety and security of all Americans will serve the Commission well.

Svinicki earned her BA in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan before taking a job with the state of Wisconsin. She then moved to the U.S. Department of Energy with the Idaho Operations Process at the Idaho Nuclear Laboratory. She transferred to the DOE’s headquarters in Washington DC and was named as a staff member of the Arms Services Committee in 2007.

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko on May 21 resigned, a position he held since May 2009, effective upon the confirmation of a successor.

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