Allison Macfarlane has been confirmed by the Senate for a full five-year term as chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
A geologist and former professor of environmental science at George Mason University, Macfarlane was first appointed to the position in July 2012 to finish out the term of chair Gregory Jaczko, who resigned after a contentious tenure marked by a reportedly combative management style. Macfarlane has vowed to bring a more conciliatory and transparent tone to the NRC while encouraging more public engagement. Her tenure thus far, however, has not been without controversy. In recent weeks, she has clashed with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), over Boxerâs attempt to retrieve NRC documents relating to the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant.
The Nuclear Energy Institute CEO Marvin Fertel welcomed Macfarlaneâs reappointment, saying “Over the past year Chairman Macfarlane has done an outstanding job of restoring collegiality within the commission and demonstrating respect for differing opinions to allow the agency to fully focus on fulfilling its safety mission. The credibility of the NRC is immensely important to us, as well as to the global nuclear energy community, given the agency’s stature worldwide.
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