"Should a booster of nuclear power with undisclosed business connections to nuclear energy firms be allowed to regulate the industry? By nominating William Magwood to serve on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, President Barack Obama is doing just that.
Magwood served as the head of the Office of Nuclear Energy within the Department of Energy from 1998 to 2005, and in that capacity was the US government's senior nuclear technology official. But both before and after his time in government, he has worked as an enthusiastic advocate for nuclear interests in the private sector—including for at least one company likely to have business before the NRC in the near future. Good-government groups say that this background should preclude him from serving as a regulator for an agency whose stated mission is to "regulate the nation's civilian use of byproduct, source, and special nuclear materials to ensure adequate protection of public health and safety, to promote the common defense and security, and to protect the environment."
Kate Sheppard reports for Mother Jones October October 20, 2009.