By unanimous consent last night, the U.S. Senate confirmed Allison Macfarlane to a full five-year term on the NRC Commission. President Obama had previously indicated he would re-designate her as Chairman. Unanimous consent is a Senate procedure that does not require a member-by-member roll call vote.
Paperwork permitting, we expect her to be sworn into her new term as early as Monday morning.
The NRC is headed by five Commissioners nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate for staggered five-year terms, with one Commissioner’s term ending on June 30th of each year. One of the five is designated as the Chairman and official spokesperson of the Commission. The other Commissioners are: Kristine Svinicki, George Apostalakis, William Magwood and William Ostendorff.
Macfarlane was originally selected to complete the final year of the term held by the previous chairman. That term expires June 30.
This is what she had to say about the confirmation:
“I am honored by the trust the President has placed in me by nominating me for a full term on the Commission, and grateful that the Senate has confirmed my appointment.
“The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission fulfills an essential mission for the American people, with nuclear safety and security our paramount priority. During the past year, I’ve taken great pride in leading this exceptional agency. We have accomplished a substantial amount, and I am pleased that we will be able to continue this work. I will work with my Commission colleagues and the staff to ensure that the NRC continues to excel. I will remain committed to transparency and continue to seek opportunities to further public engagement. I will also continue to champion the importance of regulatory independence.
“There are a number of significant issues facing the Commission. I have full confidence that we will meet the challenges ahead.”
Note: Allison Macfarlane was sworn in today (July 1) as Chairman of the NRC.