Report: White House drops Jeff Baran as NRC nominee

January 23, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News


The White House has given up on the renomination of former Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Jeff Baran because of bipartisan opposition in the Senate, according to multiple media reports. After a handful of Democrats joined Senate Republicans to block the nomination last year, President Biden has decided to drop Baran as his pick, HuffPost first reported on Monday.

Baran joined the five-person federal panel in 2014 as an appointee of former president Barack Obama. The NRC oversees atomic energy and radiation safety and has become increasingly politicized in recent years, as different parties push for new processes and procedures for building new reactor types and expanding nuclear infrastructure.

Baran’s term ended in June 2023, and since then the commission has been without a tie-breaker for party-line votes among the four current members. Come June 30, NRC chair Christopher Hanson will complete his term and has yet to be renominated.

Good Energy Collective backs Baran for third NRC term

June 30, 2023, 12:03PMNuclear News
Jeff Baran (Photo: NRC)

Jeff Baran, who has been renominated for another five-year term on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has received a vote of confidence from a progressive policy research organization. On June 14, the same day his renomination was reported favorably out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in a 10–9 vote, the organization—Good Energy Collective—released a statement from its deputy director, Jackie Toth, in praise of the commissioner.

Coal-to-nuclear conversion: Opportunities and challenges

November 10, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
ANS's “Powering Our Future: The Coal to Nuclear Opportunity” panel discussion featured (top left, clockwise) Jessica Lovering, Patrick Burke, Kenya Stump, Andrew Griffith, Christine King, and Carol Lane. (ANS screenshot)

Since at least June of last year—when TerraPower and PacifiCorp announced plans to site the Natrium reactor demonstration project at one of Wyoming’s retiring coal plants—the concept of repurposing those plants to host nuclear reactors has been a popular topic of conversation among the energy cognoscenti.