A former Senate and U.S. Department of Energy aide on nuclear issues is the new chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
President Biden appointed Christopher Hanson as the NRC’s 18th chairman. He succeeds Kristine Svinicki, who departed earlier this month after four years as chairperson.
““I remain committed to ensuring that we continue to work collaboratively under our authorities established by Congress to assure the public adequate protection of health and safety in carrying out our regulatory responsibilities.” Hanson said in a statement. “I look forward to building on Chairman Svinicki’s many accomplishments as the Commission takes on new challenges and faces new opportunities as nuclear energy technologies continue to evolve and uses of nuclear materials expand in the future.”
Svinicki was the NRC’s longest serving commissioner ever, having begun her regulatory career in 2007. Hanson was appointed as a commissioner in June 2020, following a career serving the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee overseeing civilian and national security nuclear programs.
Before working in the Senate, Hanson served as a senior advisor in the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. He also served in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, where he oversaw nuclear and environmental cleanup programs and managed the department’s relationship with Congressional Appropriations committees.
Prior to joining DOE, he served as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he led multiple engagements for government and industry in the energy sector.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was created as an independent agency by Congress in 1974 to ensure the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment. The NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials, such as in nuclear medicine, through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements.