STATEMENT OF GRETA JOY DICUS
NOMINATED BY PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. CLINTON TO BE A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
UNITED STATES SENATE OCTOBER 1, 1998

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, it is indeed a great privilege and honor for me to appear before you as one of President Clinton's two nominees to be a Member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Many of you are familiar with my professional credentials and qualifications from previous appearances before you, so I will give an abbreviated version of my background.

My educational background includes a Master of Arts degree in Radiation Biology from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School in Dallas Texas and my undergraduate degree was in Biological Sciences, with minors in Chemistry and Government History, from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. After a career in research and as a state official in the State of Arkansas, eventually serving as Director of the Division of Radiation Control and Emergency Management for the Arkansas Department of Health, I was nominated and confirmed by the U. S. Senate as an original member of the Board of Directors of the United States Enrichment Corporation. I served on the U. S. Enrichment Corporation Board until my term ended in March of 1995. I was subsequently nominated and confirmed as a member of the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, commencing a term in February, 1996 which was completed on June 30th of this year.

When I last appeared before this Committee as my previous nomination to the NRC was under consideration, I explained that NRC's mission was to ensure that civilian uses of nuclear materials in the United States are carried out with adequate protection of the public health and safety, the environment, and national security. My term as a Commissioner has not changed my understanding of the NRC mission and I will continue to work if confirmed to a second term to further the accomplishment of NRC's mission.

During the previous hearing Senators Chafee and Smith expressed support for assuring NRC was positioned to effectively consider that nuclear power plant license renewal applications, if submitted, are efficiently and effectively considered. I am pleased to say that just prior to the end of my first term, all Commissioners had unanimously approved a policy statement providing for improved management of adjudicatory hearings including those for license renewal. This Policy Statement was published on August 5, 1998. The framework outlined in that policy statement has already been utilized in establishing a hearing schedule for the first license renewal application, filed by Baltimore Electric and Gas Company to renew the operating license for their Calvert Cliffs power plant. These hearing improvements have great potential to provide an expeditious consideration of license renewal applications and any concerns of members of the public related to the applications. In addition, an application for renewal of the Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 was received by NRC from Duke Energy Corporation on July 6, 1998, and this policy statement would also be used by the Licensing Board if a hearing is granted in that proceeding. During my first term, the Commission initiated a number of actions to improve the regulatory framework of the agency, particularly with respect to performance assessments of nuclear power plants. Much remains to be done to see these improved programs finalized and implemented and during a second term on the Commission I would continue to press to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission's activities in furtherance of NRC's regulatory mission.

During my first term on the Commission, it was clear to me that many challenges face the agency as the nature of the nuclear industry changes, involving both power plants and the use of radiological materials in other beneficial ways. I stated during my first confirmation hearing that we should utilize a fair and open process in all decisions, while at the same time maintaining our regulatory independence. I worked faithfully to make decisions with those principles in mind during my first term and will continue to do so if confirmed for a second term. It is clear that an efficient, fair, and open process to reaching regulatory decisions will assure that the industry understands, and that the public accepts, NRC's regulatory decisions.

I want to express to you my appreciation for this opportunity to discuss my renomination to a second term as a Commissioner on the NRC. I would be pleased to answer any questions at this time.