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

The US Senate confirmed Thursday, by unanimous consent, the appointmentsof Annie Caputo and David Wright to serve five-year terms on the NuclearRegulatory Commission, and confirmed Commissioner Jeff Baran for a secondfive-year term.

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Caputo and Wright will join Baran, Chairman Kristine Svinicki, andCommissioner Stephen Burns on the five-member commission, which now hasno vacancies for the first time since then-Chairman Allison Macfarlaneresigned in December 2014 to take an academic position at GeorgeWashington 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 inMay 2017 and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Worksapproved their nominations in July. But a vote by the full Senate on thenominations was delayed by months, in part because Senate Democratswanted to ensure Baran was also nominated for another term and that thethree nominees were voted on as a single package. Trump nominated Baranin September.

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

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

Wright is the owner of Wright Directions LLC, a strategic consulting andcommunications business. From March 2004 until June 2013, he served as acommissioner on the South Carolina Public Service Commission and was thePSC's chairman from July 2012 to June 2013. Wright also us formerpresident of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory UtilityCommissioners. Wright was president of the National Association ofRegulatory Utility Commissioners in 2011-2012. --Steven Dolley, steven.dolley@spglobal.com

--Edited by Valarie Jackson, newsdesk@spglobal.com