President Obama nominates Roberson to NRC

President Barack Obama on July 16 nominated Alabama native Jessie Hill Roberson, who has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear engineering field and currently serves on a federal board, to fill a vacancy on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The fifth seat of the five-member commission has been vacant since Chairman Allison Macfarlane’s resignation in December 2014. Commissioner Stephen Burns was named chairman in January.

If confirmed by the Senate, Roberson would serve a term expiring June 30, 2020, according to the White House.

Roberson’s who is currently serving her second tour with the Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board (DNFSB) was initially nominated as a member of the defense board in September 1999 by then-President Bill Clinton.

Roberson was confirmed by the United States Senate in January 2000. After a short departure from the board, Roberson was again nominated as vice chairman of the Board by President Obama. Roberson is currently the acting chairman.

Over the years, Roberson served with the Department of Energy (DOE) in a variety of challenging positions, according to her biography posted on the DNFSB website.

“The nuclear energy industry congratulates Ms. Roberson,” said Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) President and CEO Marvin Fertel, who praised the depth of the nominee’s nuclear experience.

“Her relevant experience with nuclear energy technology aligns well with the NRC’s mandate to ensure the safe operation of the nation’s nuclear energy facilities,” Fertel said in a statement.

Before joining the Department of Energy (DOE), she worked with Southern (NYSE:SO) utility Georgia Power as a system engineering specialist from 1987 to 1989.

She has extensive experience in nuclear reactor operations and successfully completed the testing requirements for reactor operations with E. I. DuPont in 1982. Later with DuPont she trained nuclear reactor operators and supervisors in both nuclear and field operations. Before leaving DuPont in 1987 Roberson worked as a nuclear reactor operations manager at several sites.

From 1977 to 1980, Roberson completed work assignments as a student engineer for Westinghouse at the Clinch River Breeder Reactor in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the Nuclear Center in Monroeville, Pa. Ms. Roberson received a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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