Former NRC chairman joins Southern Company board

October 21, 2021, 9:30AMNuclear News


Kristine Svinicki, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has joined the board of directors of Southern Company. Southern announced her election as an independent director on Monday. She joins the board’s Business Security and Resiliency Committee, as well as its Operations, Environmental, and Safety Committee.

“As the longest-serving member in the history of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Kristine brings to Southern Company a wealth of experience advising energy policy at the federal and state levels,” said Southern chairman, president, and chief executive officer Tom Fanning. “Kristine’s knowledge of and expertise in nuclear technologies will be invaluable as we pursue the full range of energy resources. Moreover, Kristine’s insight into the energy challenges of tomorrow places Southern Company in a prime position to serve customers, communities, employees, and stockholders well into the future.”

The experience: Initially appointed to the NRC by President George W. Bush in 2007, Svinicki was reappointed in 2012 by President Obama and designated chairman by President Trump in January 2017. She resigned from the agency earlier this year after more than 30 years of public service.

Prior to joining the commission, Svinicki spent over a decade as a staff member in the Senate, working on issues related to national security, science and technology, and energy and the environment. She also served as a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where she was responsible for the portfolio of defense science and technology programs and policies and for the Department of Energy’s atomic energy defense activities, including nuclear weapons, nuclear security, and environmental programs.

Before that, Svinicki worked as a nuclear engineer in the DOE’s offices of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology, and Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, as well as in its Idaho Operations Office.

Born and raised in Michigan, Svinicki holds a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences in the College of Engineering. She also sits on the board of TerraPower.

Svinicki is a longstanding member of the American Nuclear Society, which has twice honored her with its Presidential Citation in recognition of her contributions to U.S. nuclear energy policies.

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