Hearing on NRC Nominees Set for June 13

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has scheduled a joint confirmation hearing on the nominations of Allison Macfarlane and Kristine Svinicki to seats on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for June 13, according to a posting on the committee's website on Wednesday.

The hearing comes after weeks of squabbling in the Senate over the renomination of Svinicki, a Republican, to another term on the commission. Her current term expires June 30.

The announcement of the hearing, which Republicans at one point feared might never come, is the result of another nomination to the NRC — that of Macfarlane, a George Mason University professor tapped by President Obama to take over the chairmanship of the five-member commission that oversees the nation's nuclear plants.

After the surprise resignation announcement of NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko late last month, the White House swiftly nominated Macfarlane as his successor, with her chairmanship effective upon confirmation by the full Senate. The development opened up room for compromise on the reappointment of Svinicki, whom Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., have previously criticized.