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Up & Atom

Annie Caputo and David A. Wright, nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the US Senate last week, were sworn in on May 30 as commissioners of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Ms. Caputo will serve the remainder of a five-year term ending June 30, 2021, and Mr. Wright will serve the remainder of a five-year term ending June 30, 2020. The Senate also reconfirmed Jeffrey Baran to serve a second term as commissioner, with the new term expiring on June 30, 2023. He will be sworn in at a later date.

Ms. Caputo and Mr. Wright join Mr. Baran, Chairman Kristine Svinicki, and Commissioner Stephen Burns on the five-member Commission, which now has no vacancies for the first time since December 2014. Their recent appointments allow the Commission to avoid losing its quorum on June 30, 2018, when Mr. Baran’s current term expires. Ms. Svinicki, Ms. Caputo, and Mr. Wright are Republicans; Mr. Baran is a Democrat; and Mr. Burns is an independent. The NRC’s enabling statute, the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, prohibits more than three NRC commissioners from any single political party from serving simultaneously.

Ms. Caputo, a nuclear engineer by training, was majority senior policy adviser for nuclear issues for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees the NRC. She previously worked for the House Energy & Commerce Committee, focusing on nuclear energy issues, and as a congressional affairs manager for Exelon Corporation.

Mr. Wright, who holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, previously served as president of Wright Directions, LLC, a strategic consulting and communications business. He served as a commissioner on the South Carolina Public Service Commission from March 2004 to June 2013, including as chairman from July 2012 to June 2013. Mr. Wright also is former president of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.