Senator Carper Calls for Bipartisan Support for Kristine Svinicki to Continue to Serve as NRC Chairman and Reiterates Importance of Parity on the Commission

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, spoke on the Senate floor moments before the Senate voted to confirm Kristine Svinicki, current Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to be confirmed for a third term as a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“Mr. President, I rise in support of the nomination of Kristine Svinicki to hold a third term as a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, known as the NRC. Many Senators heard from our Chairman on the Environment and Public Works Committee in support of this nominee last week just prior to the cloture vote.  I wanted to add my voice in support of her nomination, as well. Since joining the Environment and Public Works Committee, I have worked closely with my colleagues to strengthen the ‘culture of safety’ within the U.S. nuclear energy industry. In part due to our collective efforts, and to the NRC leadership and the commission’s dedicated staff, the NRC continues to be the world’s gold standard for nuclear regulatory agencies. 

“However, as I say time and time again, that does not mean we can become complacent when it comes to nuclear safety and our NRC oversight responsibilities, a perspective that I’m certain is shared by every member of this body. Ensuring that the NRC continues to have experienced and dedicated leadership is one of the most important things that the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the U.S Senate, can do to maintain a high level of safety and excellence at our nation’s nuclear facilities. I am quite impressed with our NRC commissioners, and I’m encourage by their ability to work cooperatively with each other. Each commissioner, including our current Chair, Kristine Svinicki, brings a unique set of skills to the table, something that has served the commission and our country well.

“I continue to have ongoing discussions with my friend, the junior Senator from Wyoming and Chairman of the EPW Committee, about the strong interest that I and minority members of our committee have with ensuring parity as the Senate looks to confirm other nominees to the NRC nominees. This is in order to ensure that we have a balance of Democrat and Republican members on the Commission for years to come and it continues to be a priority for us. 

“At this time, I support moving Chairman Svinicki through the confirmation process. I do so out of respect for her long service to the NRC, and for the need to ensure certainty and predictability within the NRC leadership. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting her nomination. Thank you Mr. President.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an independent federal agency that charged with ensuring the safe use of radioactive materials for civilian purposes.