Edward Sproat has been named director of the US Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, by president Bush.
The office oversees the development the Yucca Mountain waste repository in Nevada and a system to transport nuclear waste to the site from commercial power reactors and federal plants. Responsibilities also include advising the energy secretary on scientific research and licencing of the nation's first permanent geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel.
If confirmed by the Senate, Sproat will be charged with reinvigorating the project beset by technical and legal bugbears.
Sproat, a nuclear industry executive from Pennsylvania, is expected to succeed Margaret Chu, who resigned as director in February.
Sproat is managing partner of a consulting firm, McNeil, Sproat & Associates, and has held executive posts at Exelon Corp and PECO Energy.
The nomination will be considered by the Energy Committee before going to the Senate itself.
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