Senate confirms Caputo, Wright, and Baran to serve as US NRC commissioners

Washington (Platts)--24 May 2018 643 pm EDT/2243 GMT

The US Senate confirmed Thursday, by unanimous consent, the appointments of Annie Caputo and David Wright to serve five-year terms on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and confirmed Commissioner Jeff Baran for a second five-year term.

Caputo and Wright will join Baran, Chairman Kristine Svinicki, and Commissioner Stephen Burns on the five-member commission, which now has no vacancies for the first time since then-Chairman Allison Macfarlane resigned in December 2014 to take an academic position at George Washington University.

The Senate confirmation avoids the commission losing its quorum June 30, when Baran's current term expires.

President Donald Trump nominated Caputo and Wright to the commission in May 2017 and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved their nominations in July. But a vote by the full Senate on the nominations was delayed by months, in part because Senate Democrats wanted to ensure Baran was also nominated for another term and that the three nominees were voted on as a single package. Trump nominated Baran in September.

Under the Atomic Energy Act, there can be no more than three NRC commissioners from any single political party, and they serve staggered five-year terms. Svinicki, Caputo and Wright are Republicans. Baran is a Democrat and Commissioner Stephen Burns is an independent. Burns' term ends June 30, 2019. Svinicki's term ends June 30, 2022.

Caputo, a nuclear engineer, is majority senior policy adviser for nuclear issues for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that oversees NRC. Before joining committee staff, Caputo worked as a staffer for the House of Representatives' Energy & Commerce Committee and, prior to that, she was congressional affairs manager for Exelon.

Wright is the owner of Wright Directions LLC, a strategic consulting and communications business. From March 2004 until June 2013, he served as a commissioner on the South Carolina Public Service Commission and was the PSC's chairman from July 2012 to June 2013. Wright also us former president of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Wright was president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in 2011-2012. --Steven Dolley,

--Edited by Valarie Jackson,

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