Boxer also said Macfarlane “has the strong commitment to safety that is so needed in this post-Fukushima era.”

Marvin Fertel, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, urged the Senate to approve Macfarlane and Svinicki “expeditiously.” He called Macfarlane “an active contributor to policy debates in the nuclear energy field for many years.”

Lisbeth Gronlund, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists global security program, welcomed Macfarlane’s selection and said, “We expect her to be a strong advocate for practical steps to enhance nuclear power safety and security.”

Macfarlane served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future from 2010 until last January, when the panel issued its report on nuclear waste. Its recommendations included immediately starting the process to develop a geologic disposal facility.

If confirmed, Macfarlane would join the NRC as it continues to wrestle with what changes it will call for at U.S. nuclear plants in response to Fukushima-Daiishi.