Top manager’s departure, office space among issues facing NRC

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Executive Director for Operations (EDO) William Borchardt, a 30-year veteran of the agency, plans to retire sometime this summer, an NRC spokesperson said May 23.

Borchardt has held a variety of management posts since he joined NRC in 1983. Prior to NRC, Borchardt was an officer in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power program.

In response to a GenerationHub inquiry, the NRC spokesperson said no successor has been named yet. The NRC chairman will recommend a replacement to the full five-member commission.

As EDO, Borchardt is the chief operating officer for the NRC. He reports to the five-member commission and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the agency. This includes supervising and coordinating policy development, agency operational activities, and implementation of Commission policy directives.

The issue of Borchardt’s pending retirement came up during NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane’s May 23 confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Since joining the NRC as chairman last summer, Macfarlane said she has been working on many internal issues – including “the replacement of our retiring Executive Director for Operations.”

During her appearance before the Senate panel, Macfarlane said NRC is also taking steps to reduce its office space footprint, “and make more efficient use of our space, in close cooperation with the General Services Administration.

The whole NRC office building footprint has drawn scrutiny by a House of Representatives panel that oversees federal agency facilities.

Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., who chairs a public buildings sub-committee within the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, has accused NRC of wasting taxpayer money on unneeded office space.

Borchardt and NRC have said it is important to keep the nuclear agency’s staff as centralized as possible for security purposes. During the time of the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident in 1979 the NRC headquarters staff was housed in more than 10 buildings in the Greater Washington, D.C., area, Borchardt recently told the House panel.

Macfarlane’s current term ends June 30. She has been re-nominated by President Obama to serve a full five-year term but she still needs to win Senate confirmation.

 

 

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.