Commissioner Kristine Svinicki has been appointed by President Donald Trump to be chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, replacing the current chairman, Stephen Burns– effective immediately – according to a report by Platts on January 26.
David Castelveter, director of NRC’s Office of Public Affairs, made the announcement, the news outlet said, but did not offer further details.
Svinicki, a Republican, was first appointed to the commission by President George W. Bush in 2008. President Barack Obama appointed her for a second five-year term in 2012. That term ends June 30, according to Platts.
She is a nuclear engineer who spent more than 10 years as a Senate aide before her arrival at NRC, including stints advising Senator John McCain, (R-Arizona) and former Senator John Warner, (R-Virginia) on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Before that, she worked for the Department of Energy’s nuclear energy and nuclear waste offices in Washington and Idaho.
Burns, an Independent, was nominated to the commission by Obama in November 2014. He was appointed by the president to serve as chairman beginning January 1, 2015. His term as commissioner ends in June 2019.
Trump will have the opportunity during his first year in office to appoint three commissioners. Two seats are currently vacant on the five-member commission. Under the Atomic Energy Act, there can be no more than three commissioners from any single political party, and they serve staggered five-year terms.