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White House to name Nils Diaz nuclear agency head
Reuters, 03.31.03, 6:20 PM ET


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration said on Monday it plans to nominate Nils Diaz to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation's 103 operating nuclear power plants.

Diaz, currently a member of the five-person commission, will replace Richard Meserve, who was appointed chairman during the Clinton administration, the White House said in a statement. Diaz was renominated to a second five-year term in July 2001.

Before joining the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Diaz taught nuclear engineering at the University of Florida, headed the Innovative Nuclear Space Power Institute, and was a consultant for private industry, the U.S. government and several foreign governments.

Meserve said in December he planned to leave the agency to become president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a non-profit group that funds research in biology, astronomy and the Earth sciences. His term was to expire in June 2004.

Since the deadly Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York City, the agency has been reassessing nuclear power plant security guidelines to protect plants from attacks.

Nuclear power plants provide about 20 percent of the nation's electricity.

Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service

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