"Obama to Name Reid Ally as NRC Chairman"

"President Barack Obama on Wednesday named a former adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, giving opponents of a nuclear waste repository in Reid's home state of Nevada another well-placed ally.

Gregory B. Jaczko has served on the five-member commission since January 2005 and, as chairman, will become its official spokesman. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

The chairman also serves as the NRC's chief executive, overseeing day-to-day operations as well as long-range planning.

Four years ago, the nuclear power industry fought Jaczko's nomination to the commission. At the time, Nuclear Energy Institute spokesman Steve Kerekes said the industry preferred someone who 'doesn't come out of the Harry Reid school of stymieing Yucca Mountain and nuclear waste management progress.'"

Kevin Freking reports for the Associated Press May 13, 2009.

Source: AP, 05/14/2009