Burns takes office as NRC commissioner

31 December 2014

Stephen G. Burns on 1 January becomes the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's sixteenth chairman.

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Burns is sworn in as NRC commissioner (Image: NRC)

A veteran of the agency and an NRC commissioner since November, Burns was designated as chairman by President Barack Obama effective 1 January, 2015. He replaces outgoing chairman Allison Macfarlane, who is stepping down to take a position at George Washington University.

The NRC Commission is made up of five commissioners, one of whom is designated by the President as chairman. The Commission is a collegial body that formulates policies, develops regulations, issues orders and adjudicates legal matters. The NRC commissioners serve five-year terms, with one term expiring every year on 30 June. Burns’ term expires in 2019.

Burns is the second career general counsel to be named chairman since Marcus A. Rowden, general counsel for the Atomic Energy Commission, became the new agency's second chairman in 1976.

Before returning to the NRC, Burns was the head of legal affairs at the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. Prior to that position, Burns served at the NRC in a variety of roles, including as the agency's general counsel from 2009 to 2012. He began his career at the NRC as an attorney in the Regional Operations and Enforcement Division in 1978.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News