President Obama nominated George Mason University Professor Allison Macfarlane Thursday to serve as chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Macfarlane has been a professor of environmental science at the university since 2006 and served on a federal panel tasked with determining a long-term solution for the country’s nuclear waste.
She has been critical of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada, a long-delayed project that the Obama administration abandoned in 2009. Macfarlane wrote a 2006 book titled,
Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Nuclear Waste
. The book, according to the GMU website, "explores the unresolved technical issues" with Yucca Mountain.
Current NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko, who has come under fire from his colleagues and Republicans for his leadership style, announced earlier this week that he intends to step down once the Senate confirms his replacement.