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Nuclear Energy Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2009
Contact: media@nei.org, 202.739.8000 or 703.644.8805 (after hours and weekends)

NEI Congratulates Ostendorff on Nomination to Serve on Nuclear Regulatory Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The following is a statement by the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, Tony Pietrangelo, on the nomination of Bill Ostendorff to be a commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“The Nuclear Energy Institute congratulates Bill Ostendorff on his nomination to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“The nomination comes at a critical time for the nation. The country’s 104 nuclear facilities produce one-fifth of our electricity and are the single largest source (72 percent) of carbon-free electricity. As producers of reliable, affordable, baseload electricity, the plants are vital to the nation’s economy and energy security. Today, because of the excellent oversight provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the plants are operating at the highest levels of safety and performance in their history that spans more than half a century.

“This also is a time of great change. Applications for new nuclear power plants are under active review; the owners of existing reactors are seeking 20-year license extensions, and many are increasing their generating capacity through power uprates that require NRC review. To meet these demands, the NRC has greatly expanded its staff while also experiencing a wave of retirements similar to those seen in the energy industry.

“Managing these significant staff changes and new licensing activities is best achieved by a full five-member commission. A full commission can ensure that the regulatory policies and requirements that have helped the nation’s commercial nuclear facilities achieve exceptional levels of safety and reliability are maintained in an effective and consistent manner.

“Bill Ostendorff clearly has extensive experience in the highly technical, regulated nuclear environment that would serve him well as a commissioner. Most recently, he served at the National Academies as director of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy, after a successful Navy career that included command of the nuclear-powered USS Norfolk attack submarine and service as the deputy administrator at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

“The industry looks forward to the opportunity to work with him pending his confirmation by the Senate.”