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Biden Nominates Two to Serve on Nuclear Regulatory Commission

May 3, 2022 by Dan McCue
Annie Caputo

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated two westerners to fill vacancies at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, again signaling that nuclear power is very much on his mind as he moves the nation toward a post-fossil fuel future.

The two nominees are Annie Caputo, who currently serves as a consultant for the Idaho National Laboratory, in Idaho Falls, regarding international collaboration on advanced nuclear reactors, and Bradley R. Crowell, who is currently director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Scott Burnell, the spokesman for the commission, told The Well News via email that one of the commission seats Biden is seeking to fill was vacated in January 2021, while the other was vacated in June 2021.

Since then, “the commission has continued acting on matters before it with the remaining three commissioners,” he said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Caputo and Crowell will join a commission consisting of its chairman, Christopher Hanson, another Biden appointment, Jeff Baran, who was nominated to the commission by former President Barack Obama, and David Wright, who was nominated to the commission by former President Donald Trump.

According to the agency’s website, the commission “as a collegial body formulates policies, develops regulations governing nuclear reactor and nuclear material safety, issues orders to licensees and adjudicates legal matters.”

Prior to her work at the Idaho National Laboratory, Caputo served as a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, assisting the committee with issues related to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s infrastructure. Preceding her SASC assignment, Caputo served as a commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for three years until the term expired in June 2021.

Caputo previously served as a professional staff member and senior policy advisor for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Committee on Energy & Commerce from 2005 to 2018. 

Before venturing to Capitol Hill, she worked for Exelon Corporation and its predecessor company Commonwealth Edison, holding positions in both nuclear fuel and government affairs. Caputo has also served on the board of the American Nuclear Society. Caputo earned her bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

She lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. 

Crowell was first appointed as director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in 2016 by former Gov. Brian Sandoval and was reappointed by Gov. Steve Sisolak in 2019. 

At DCNR, he leads approximately 1,000 employees across eight divisions and manages a nearly $300 million biennial budget.  

Crowell has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of energy, environment, natural resources, climate change and national security, including executive leadership positions in federal and state government. Prior to his current role, he worked for multiple members of Congress, including former Nevada Gov. and Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. 

Crowell served in the Obama-Biden administration at the U.S. Department of Energy from 2010-2016, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2013 as the assistant secretary of Energy for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. 

Crowell, a native of Carson City, Nevada, now resides in Reno, Nevada, with his wife, Rebecca Claypool and their one-year-old daughter Hazel.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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