[ RadSafe ] Obama to name Reid ally as NRC chairman

ROY HERREN royherren2005 at yahoo.com
Thu May 14 23:52:44 CDT 2009

Obama to name Reid ally as NRC chairman
By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
(05-13) 15:44 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --
© 2009 Hearst Communications Inc. 
President Barack Obama on Wednesday named a former adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, giving opponents of a nuclear waste repository in Reid's home state of Nevada another well-placed ally.
Gregory B. Jaczko has served on the five-member commission since January 2005 and, as chairman, will become its official spokesman. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation.
The chairman also serves as the NRC's chief executive, overseeing day-to-day operations as well as long-range planning.
Four years ago, the nuclear power industry fought Jaczko's nomination to the commission. At the time, Nuclear Energy Institute spokesman Steve Kerekes said the industry preferred someone who "doesn't come out of the Harry Reid school of stymieing Yucca Mountain and nuclear waste management progress."
Now, Jaczko will serve as the industry's primary regulator. There are 104 nuclear reactors in operation in the U.S.
Jaczko was Reid's appropriations director and top science policy adviser before he joined the commission.
Reid also has the support of Obama in doing away with the Yucca Mountain repository. Obama's budget calls for providing the project with less money and directs that the money be spent on exploring alternatives to the Nevada site.
During his tenure on the commission, Jaczko has focused his attention on the security of nuclear power plants and emergency preparedness.
Reid applauded the announcement.
"His work in Congress and at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has improved the safety of nuclear power plants and is based on his demonstrated commitment to bringing all stakeholders to the table," Reid said.


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