Five Questions With: Andrea Veil

Andrea Veil is the Executive Director for the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards

  1. How would you briefly describe your role at the NRC?

5 questions_9with boxI serve as the liaison between the ACRS and the NRC staff at all levels and the NRC Commissioners. I also manage the technical and administrative staff who support the ACRS as it meets its obligation to provide the Commission with independent and timely technical advice. By the way, the ACRS full committee just held its 638th meeting last week.

  1. What is your foremost responsibility at work?

Ensuring that the ACRS members have everything that they need to provide effective and timely technical advice to the NRC Commission. That means researching issues, getting answers to questions, pulling together legal and regulatory documents, talking to stakeholders, reviewing reports and all other kinds of support actions. The independence of ACRS is truly unique among government agencies. The ACRS provides independent advice to the Commission on issues related to nuclear reactors safety and security, and nuclear waste and materials, so facilitating the technical reviews and meetings required to fulfill the ACRS mission is of utmost importance.

  1. What is your most significant challenge in the workplace?

andreaThe challenge to continue adapt to agency-wide changes that may affect the ACRS workload and independent function.

  1. What do you consider one of your most notable accomplishments at the NRC?

I would say one of my biggest job successes is becoming the first female Executive Director of the ACRS since its beginning in 1954.

  1. What is one quality of the NRC that more people should know?

The NRC is a regulatory authority and does not have promotion of nuclear energy as part of its mission. Our stance is if there is to be nuclear power in this country, it will be done safely. We don’t advocate for or against nuclear power, nor do we have any say in the energy generation mix in this country (that’s Department of Energy). In addition, over regulation by the NRC is sometimes cited as the reason for the permanent closure of a plant. The decision by a utility to permanently close a plant is a business/economic decision by that licensee.

Five Questions is an occasional series in which we pose the same questions to different NRC staff members.

Throwback Thursday: The ACRS ’80s Style

tbtacrs1989The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards is a statutory body of scientists, engineers and other experts in fields related to nuclear safety. The Committee conducts independent reviews of nuclear power plant applications and other matters referred to it by the NRC. It has a long history – its responsibilities were described in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.

This group shot, taken from the 1989 Annual Report to Congress, shows the ACRS members as of September that year. The photo is timely as the committee held its 637th meeting last Thursday.

The Chairman is seated in the middle. TBT Quiz: What was the Chairman’s name and to what position would he be appointed just two months later? Extra points if you can name the vice chairman, seen here seated second from the left.