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The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has tapped Maria Korsnick, a veteran of the nuclear industry, to be its new CEO.

Korsnick, currently the chief operating officer at NEI, will start her new role Jan. 1, when Marv Fertel, the current CEO, retires.

{mosads}She has previously held executive positions at Constellation Energy Nuclear Group and Exelon Corp.

“Maria is highly regarded for her strong leadership skills and exceptional technical expertise,” Dan Brandt, chairman of NEI’s board and CEO of Pinnacle West Capital Corp., said in a Tuesday statement announcing Korsnick’s promotion.

“As proven by her success as NEI’s chief operating officer, she will provide the vision and guidance that will drive the organization’s effectiveness,” he said.

“I couldn’t be more proud to have the opportunity to lead NEI and advance nuclear energy,” Korsnick said in the statement. “The nuclear industry is facing challenges, and I’m looking forward to help strengthen the policies, regulations and public support that will ensure it has a robust future.”

Fertel’s retirement, announced in August, came along with a major shakeup in leadership at NEI. The top lobbying and communications officials at the group are leaving, and NEI is looking for one person to replace them in a newly combined role.

The changes come at a crucial moment for the nuclear sector. Numerous plants are expected to close in the coming years amid competition from cheap natural gas and renewables, and increasing safety and security requirements.

A small handful of new plants or reactors are under construction domestically as well.

NEI is working on various major policy priorities, like getting a tax credit renewed for newly built plants, trying to get the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site built and reforming the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Tags Nuclear Energy Institute Nuclear power
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