Obama taps nuke safety chief Macfarlane for new term

Reid said he looked forward to “swift confirmation” of Macfarlane to a new term.

“Allison Macfarlane has served in her post at the NRC with distinction and I am pleased she has been re-nominated to continue her leadership role. Chairman Macfarlane is deeply committed to keeping Americans safe and secure from harmful radioactive material and waste,” he said in a statement Thursday.

Macfarlane is heading the NRC as the agency is crafting new safety rules in the wake of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster.

The NRC is also weighing a series of industry applications to build new nuclear reactors, but low natural gas prices and expanding gas production are fueling uncertainty about the prospects for a major build-out.