Stephen G. Burns began his tenure as Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on January 1, 2015. Burns joined the NRC in 1978, working in various positions including legal counsel and operations, until he left in 2012 to work with the Nuclear Energy Agency in Paris.
Burns cites safety and security as the top priorities for the NRC, noting that flexibility to change will be key in the face of the limited resources and budget available to the agency. He will focus his efforts on completing the post-Fukushima safety program and reviews; meeting licensing needs for small modular reactors and Generation IV reactors; and building relationships with policy makers and industry.
“I hark back to my prior experience and know that the staff of the agency, and the leadership of the agency, has always risen to the occasion and faced those challenges—and met them I think,” he said. “So I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners and working with the staff to address the issues we will have in front of us in this environment.”