On May 24, 2018, by a voice vote during an evening session, the U.S. Senate approved en banc the confirmations of all three outstanding nominees to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) including:
• Annie Caputo, a nuclear policy adviser to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY);
• David Wright, an energy consultant and former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; and,
• Jeff Baran, an attorney and member of the Commission since 2014 whose current term is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2017.
Shortly before the confirmations’ vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a budget proposal that provided no money for the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository in Nevada.
Caputo and Wright were sworn-in as new NRC Commissioners the following week.
U.S. President Donald J. Trump originally announced his intent to nominate Annie Caputo and David Wright as NRC Commissioners on May 22, 2017. The nominations have been waiting for a floor vote since July 2017. The Environment and Public Works Committee advanced Baran’s nomination to the full Senate in October 2017.
Annie Caputo Trump nominated Annie Caputo of Virginia to be an NRC Commissioner for the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2021. Caputo currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor for Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She also held this position for previous Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) from 2007 to 2012.
From 2005 to 2006 and from 2012 to 2015, Caputo worked for the House Committee on Energy & Commerce handling nuclear energy issues. Prior to working for the Congress, Caputo worked as an Executive Assistant and Congressional Affairs Manager for Exelon Corporation.
Caputo has more than 20 years of experience advising the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the nuclear industry, on nuclear energy regulation, policy development, legislation, and communications. Caputo graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering. Caputo, her husband and two children reside in McLean, Virginia.
David Wright Trump nominated David Wright of South Carolina to be an NRC Commissioner for the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2020.
Wright is currently the President of Wright Directions, LLC—a strategic consulting and communications business in the energy sector. Wright previously served as a Member and Chair of the South Carolina Public Service Commission (SCPSC) from 2004 – 2013. He was elected to serve as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) for 2011 – 2012.
Wright has owned and operated several different businesses, and served as a Councilman, Mayor and a Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. A colon cancer survivor, Wright is active as an advocate for colon cancer awareness and education and is frequently asked to share his message with groups around the country.
Wright received his Bachelor’s Degree from Clemson University. He has four children and three grandchildren and currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina.
Jeff Baran Jeff Baran was sworn in as an NRC Commissioner on October 14, 2014. He is currently serving the remainder of his first term, which is scheduled to end on June 30, 2018. He will be sworn in at a later date for his second term, which is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2023.
Since joining the Commission, Baran’s priorities have included ensuring effective implementation of safety enhancements in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident, improving oversight of power reactors entering decommissioning, and boosting the openness and transparency of agency decisionmaking. He has visited a number of NRC-licensed facilities, including operating power reactors, a nuclear plant undergoing active decommissioning, a research reactor, fuel cycle facilities, a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility, as well as a variety of facilities using radioactive materials for medical and industrial purposes. Baran also traveled to Fukushima Daiichi for a first-hand look at conditions and activities at the site.
Before serving on the Commission, Baran worked for the U.S. House of Representatives for over 11 years. During his tenure with the Energy and Commerce Committee, oversight of NRC was one of his primary areas of responsibility. As a Senior Counsel and later as Democratic Staff Director for Energy and Environment, Baran worked on a range of NRC issues including new reactor licensing; existing reactor oversight and decommissioning; high-level and low-level radioactive waste; and, uranium mining, milling, and enrichment. He worked to coordinate the efforts of six federal agencies, including the NRC and two Native American tribes, to clean up uranium contamination in and around the Navajo Nation. He also helped negotiate bills related to pipeline safety, energy efficiency, hydropower and medical isotopes that were enacted with bipartisan support. From 2003 – 2008, he was Counsel to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, Baran served as a Law Clerk for Judge Lesley Wells of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, Baran earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Ohio University. He holds a Law Degree from Harvard Law School.
Five Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for five-year terms head the NRC. One of them is designated by the President to be the Chairman and official spokesperson of the Commission.
The Chair is the Principal Executive Officer of and the Official Spokesperson for the NRC. As Principal Executive Officer, the Chair is responsible for conducting the administrative, organizational, long-range planning, budgetary and certain personnel functions of the agency. The Chair has ultimate authority for all NRC functions pertaining to an emergency involving an NRC license. The Chair’s actions are governed by the general policies of the Commission.
The Commission operates as a collegial body to formulate policies, develop regulations governing nuclear reactor and nuclear material safety, issue orders to licensees, and adjudicate legal matters.
The Commission is currently comprised of Chair Kristine Svinicki, Commissioner Jeff Baran and Commissioner Stephen Burns.
For additional information related to Commission business, please contact Annette Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission, at (301) 415-1969 or at NRCExecSec@nrc.gov.