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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...

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Economy

Kyoto, Okinawa open more luxury hotels as tourists return

Kyoto and Okinawa have been opening pricey hotels just in time for demand to return now that tourists are back. In the three years since fiscal 2018, Kyoto has seen an increase of about 12,000 hotel rooms, according to...

Nintendo breaks sales record with new Pokemon games

Nintendo Co. set a record pace for game titles after global sales of its latest Pokemon games surpassed 10 million units in the first three days of their release. Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet, which were released...

Hong Kong loses highest retail rental crown to New York

New Yorks Fifth Avenue has overtaken Hong Kongs Tsim Sha Tsui as the most expensive retail destination in the world. Milans Via Montenapoleone is third on the list followed by Londons New Bond Street and the Avenues des...

7-Eleven unveils concept store in Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport

7-Eleven has launched its first concept store dubbed 7Cafe in Singapores Jewel Changi Airport, offering coffee and other beverages with its traditional convenience store goods. Designed with a warm color tone and...

Puma opens concept store in the Philippines

German sports retailer Puma opened its first Forever Faster concept store, which introduces technical sports with a focus on performance and sport-inspired lifestyle items. The store, located in the CBD of Makati,...

Politics

Russia-Ukraine war: Russia-backed monastery in Kyiv raided

Ukrainian security forces carried out a raid on the countrys 1000-year-old Russian-backed Christian Orthodox church monastery in the capital Kyiv. The raid aimed to intercept potential activity by Russian forces. The...

Kosovo issues 2-day delay of imposing fines on Serb drivers

Kosovo announced that it has decided to issue a two-day delay in imposing fines on Serbs who have not changed their license plates. The delay follows failed talks organized by the European Union between Kosovo and...

US: Joe Biden 'directly' involved in negotiations to end railroad strike

The White House said Tuesday that President Joe Biden was involved in the negotiations to further prevent a railroad strike that threatens to shut down supply chains. Biden also condemned the potential strike and said that...

Iran enriching uranium at 60 percent purity at Fordow facility, says UN watchdog

The United Nations nuclear watchdog said that Iran has begun enriching its uranium to up to 60 percent purity at its facility in Fordow. The report marks the latest sign of Irans advancing of its nuclear program. The...

Science

S. Korean researchers develop wearable OLED that can cure jaundice in infants

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a wearable green organic light-emitting diode (OLED) with a 470-nanometer (nm) wavelength that can cure jaundice in...

It was the first time scientists confirmed that nitrous oxide increases if nitrogenous fertilizers are used excessively for rice farming.

The excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers for rice farming results in a sharp increase in the emission of nitrous oxide, the major greenhouse gas contributor, according to study by the Gyeonggi-do Agricultural Research ...

Signatures of alien technology could be how humanity first finds extraterrestrial life

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The UK is about to have its first space launch – but Cornwall is unlikely to become a new Cape Canaveral

Virgin Orbit, a US company which provides launch services for satellites, has announced that the first orbital space mission from the UK will blast off from Cornwall. The rocket, which will carry nine satellites, along...

Silicon is used in construction, microchips and more – 'green' methods could help extract it from sugarcane waste

In some parts of South Africas Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, sugarcane fields stretch as far as the eye can see. The crop is more than just a treat for those with a sweet tooth: in 2017 the countrys sugar...

Technology

PlayStation 6 launch: Sony fans may have to wait longer for PS5’s successor

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently published documents filed in relation to the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger, including Sonys official responses. And Sony appears to have confirmed plans to...

YouTube starts testing quizzes in community posts; Shorts roll out on the YouTube TV app

YouTube recently announced newly released updates, along with features that are now being tested among creators. One of them is a new way to interact with subscribers by allowing quizzes in community posts. Quizzes are...

‘Elder Scrolls 6’ availability: Microsoft confirms it will not launch on PlayStation

While fans await more information about Elder Scrolls 6, there is one thing that Microsoft has already confirmed and PlayStation fans will not like it. In one of its responses to the UKs Competition and Markets Authority,...

‘God of War: Ragnarok’ is the fastest-selling game ever in Sony PlayStation’s history

Santa Monica Studios God of War: Ragnarok proves once again that the franchise is one of the most beloved among Sonys powerhouse slate of first-party AAA games. The game broke PlayStation sales records in its first week...
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