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Allison Macfarlane

Allison Macfarlane

Allison M. Macfarlane is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University and Director of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at the University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She recently served as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from July, 2012 until December, 2014. As Chairman, Dr. Macfarlane had ultimate responsibility for the safety of all U.S. commercial nuclear reactors, for the regulation of medical radiation and nuclear waste in the U.S., and for representing the U.S. in negotiations with international nuclear regulators. She was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate. She was the agency’s 15th Chairman, its 3rd woman chair, and the only person with a background in geology to serve on the Commission.

Dr. Macfarlane holds a doctorate in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's of science degree in geology from the University of Rochester. During her academic career, she held fellowships at Radcliffe College, MIT, Stanford, and Harvard Universities. She has been on the faculty at Georgia Tech in Earth Science and International Affairs and at George Mason University in Environmental Science and Policy.

From 2010 to 2012 she served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, created by the Obama Administration to make recommendations about a national strategy for dealing with the nation's high-level nuclear waste. She has served on National Academy of Sciences panels on nuclear energy and nuclear weapons issues. Dr. Macfarlane has also chaired the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the folks who set the “doomsday clock.”

Her research has focused on environmental policy and international security issues associated with nuclear energy. Her expertise is in nuclear waste disposal, nuclear energy, regulatory issues, and science and technology policy. As Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, she pushed for a more open dialogue with the public, for greater engagement with international nuclear regulators and, following the Fukushima accident, for stricter safety protocols at U.S. nuclear reactors. She also advocated for a more family-friendly workplace. She has spoken on a wide range of topics, from women and science to nuclear policy and regulatory politics.

In 2006, MIT Press published a book she co-edited, Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Nuclear Waste, which explored technical issues at the proposed waste disposal facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Dr. Macfarlane has published extensively in academia and her work has appeared in Science, Nature, American Scientist, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and Environment Magazine.

2016 Brussels Bombings

How to protect nuclear plants from terrorists

Apr 14, 2016 06:55 am UTC| Insights & Views

In the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, Istanbul, Ankara and elsewhere, nations are rethinking many aspects of domestic security. Nuclear plants, as experts have long known, are potential targets for...

1 

Economy

SK Chemicals sets recycled plastic circulation ecosystem platform

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McDonald’s to sell Russian business to existing Siberia-based licensee

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Taco Bell brings back its Mexican Pizza after customers started petitioning for its return

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Under Armour’s chief Patrik Frisk unexpectedly vacates CEO post, COO to take over

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Google's Russian unit filed for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account

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Politics

UN calls on Iran to stop execution of Swedish-Iranian national

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Myanmar coup: Shadow government defense chief urges West to provide arms to resistance in fight against junta

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North Korea: UN warns COVID outbreak may lead to 'devastating' consequences for human rights

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Kevin McCarthy has 'nowhere to run' following subpoena from Jan. 6 committee, says former federal prosecutor

The congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection has moved towards issuing subpoenas to several sitting Republican members of Congress in recent weeks. According to a former federal prosecutor, House...

Science

Hyundai Mobis’ monitoring system reduces drowsy driving risks by 30%

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California start-up Bionaut Labs to send tiny robots on voyage into brains

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Kirin, Meiji University develop electric chopsticks that make low-salt food taste salty

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Japanese researchers develop plastic with self-repairing powers

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Osaka University team proves safety of iPS-based cornea transplant

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Technology

‘The Last of Us’ remake for PS5 is once again reported to launch in late 2022

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iPhone 14 series could launch in mid-September

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Pixel Buds Pro will be available in 12 countries, report says

As Google announced during this years I/O conference, it has a slate of new devices entering the market this year. Some of them will be released this summer, including the Pixel Buds Pro with specs and features that rivals...

LG Uplus unveils metaverse platform featuring virtual office and zoo

LG Uplus Corp. unveiled the Uplus Metaverse platform which includes Uplus Virtual Office for office workers and Uplus Kids Zoo for children. To simulate a true office environment, Uplus Virtual Office provides a virtual...
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