Senate confirms nuclear chief Svinicki to new 5-year term

AP News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2017 6:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Monday confirmed the chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to another five-year term on the panel.

President Donald Trump nominated Republican Kristine Svinicki for a new term last month.

Svinicki, a nuclear engineer, has served on the commission since 2008 and chaired it since January. She is expected to continue as chair.

The Senate confirmed her nomination, 88-9.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, called Svinicki knowledgeable and dedicated — and responsive to Congress. Since becoming a commissioner, Svinicki has testified 18 times before the Senate environment panel, he said.

The NRC oversees the nation's commercial nuclear power plants, as well as storage and disposal of nuclear waste and other issues related to nuclear power.

Svinicki worked at the Energy Department and as a Senate aide before joining the NRC.

Trump has nominated two other Republicans to fill out the five-member commission: Annie Caputo, a Senate aide and former Exelon executive, and former South Carolina Public Service Commission Chairman David Wright.

No votes have been scheduled on those two nominations.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., voted against Svinicki's nomination. He and other Nevada lawmakers from both parties strongly oppose the dormant Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository near Las Vegas, which Trump has proposed to revive.

Svinicki is considered supportive of the project.