Skip to main content

NRC Commissioner Edward McGaffigan Jr. Dies After Battle with Skin Cancer

Earlier today we heard the sad news that Edward McGaffigan, Jr., the longest-serving member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, had died after a battle with skin cancer. He was 58. On news of his passing, NEI's President and CEO, Skip Bowman, issued the following statement:
“Ed McGaffigan was a giant among public servants, a commissioner who brought great passion and competency to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“Commissioner McGaffigan was a voice of reason determined to assure public health and safety by advocating regulation that is rooted in sound science and engineering. He always voted his conscience, and he earned the respect of his colleagues and staff at the NRC, government leaders, the public and executives in the nuclear energy industry.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ed’s family and his co-workers at the NRC.”
For more information on McGaffigan's life, click here for an appreciation from NRC. Last December, Elizabeth Williamson wrote a story for the Washington Post that told the story about how he came to choose a life in government service.

Comments

rsm said…
Very sad. I will miss his straightforward approach and his struggle against nuclear scaremongering.
Anonymous said…
We can certainly honor his last couple of years in struggling against scaremongering, but it is more important to recognize his singular lack of success in effecting the Commission, the Staff and its contractors, and the nuclear industry, who are failing to fight scaremongering.
gunter said…
Lets also remember Commissioner McGaffigan for "Its time to stop digging at Yucca Mountain."
Anonymous said…
Yes. McGaffigan had it right. "Stop digging" is the only correct strategy to support nuclear power.

We don't need Yucca Mt until se need to store reprocessing waste (HLW).

(Unless we find nuclear power is not needed, in which case we can dispose of spent fuel in YM - but it would then be only after substantial decay/cooling from decades of interim storage.)

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…