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Barbara Boxer Speaks In Support Of Obama’s Nomination For NRC Chair

California Senator Barbara Boxer spoke today at a hearing to consider the next head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

California Senator Barbara Boxer spoke today at a hearing to consider the next head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Boxer, chair of the Senate committee that oversees commercial nuclear power plants, cited the concerns of people living near San Onofre in her address in support of the nomination of Allison Macfarlane.

She supports the President’s nomination of Allison Macfarlane to replace Gregory Jaczko, who resigned under pressure recently from his role as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jaczko visited California in April to listen to community concerns about the San Onofre nuclear power plant. San Onofre has been shut down since January and the NRC has not yet issued its report about the root cause of the problems with the steam generators.

Boxer called the disaster at Fukushima a wake up call and said without Jaczko’s leadership, the NRC would be “even more behind on safety than we are.”

She quoted the Union of Concerned Scientists, which says it expects Macfarlane to be “a strong advocate for practical steps to enhance nuclear power safety and security.” Macfarlane is a geologist from George Mason University.

Boxer does not support the reappointment of NRC commissioner Kristine Svinicki. Svinicki opposed Boxer’s call for an investigation into the NRC oversight of the replacement of San Onofre’s steam generators.

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