U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the nominations of Jeff Baran and Stephen Burns to serve on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The nominees will both need to appear before the EPW Committee.

"The NRC has a critical role in our government, and it needs qualified commissioners who will set aside any political bias and work to support nuclear energy," Vitter said. "I definitely have concerns that the Administration could be stacking the Commission with allies who may return it to the politically driven organization we saw under the previous chairman. The Commission needs simple checks and balances in place, and I will look forward to a thorough nomination process."

In September 2013, Vitter introduced the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reorganization Plan Codification and Complements Act (NRC Reorganization Act), which would guide the NRC's policy and rule-making actions and clarify the role and scope of power of each Commission member.

The NRC Reorganization Act codifies the Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1980, which had not been voted on in Congress. It also disperses power from the NRC Chairman to all five commissioners to avoid future abuses of power and mismanagement. The bill states that NRC members will have equal access to all information within the Agency, as well as the power to fill vacancies.

The NRC is made up of five appointed commissioners who are responsible for the policy formulation, rulemaking, and orders and adjudications regarding all national nuclear energy issues.