Commissioner Jeffrey S. Merrifield
The biographies for all of the former Commissioners in this section are the official ones they used during their Commission terms.
The Honorable Jeffrey S. Merrifield was first appointed as a Commissioner to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on October 23, 1998. He was sworn in for a second term on August 5, 2002.
During his time on the Commission, Mr. Merrifield has actively supported initiatives to improve the transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness of the NRC’s regulatory programs. He headed the NRC Communications Task Force and not only initiated but also implemented many recommendations that considerably improved the agency’s internal and external communications. An active participant in the preparation of the NRC’s revised Strategic Plan, he also pioneered the creation of a vision statement for the agency. Commissioner Merrifield has championed a number of significant regulatory improvements, including the NRC’s efforts to risk-inform regulations and prepare the agency for potential new power reactor applications. He most recently served as the Chair of the Combined License Review Task Force and made a number of recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the review of new reactor applications. He was the leading advocate for the use of the alternate dispute resolution process in agency enforcement actions and has taken a special interest in improving the management of decommissioning funding.
Mr. Merrifield has invested considerable time in familiarizing himself with the operations of NRC licensees through visits to all 104 operating power reactors, as well as sites undergoing decommissioning and countless nuclear materials facilities. Recognizing the NRC’s influence in the international regulatory community, Commissioner Merrifield has traveled abroad to discuss policy issues with nuclear regulators and foreign dignitaries in more than 35 countries and has toured more than 140 nuclear reactors overseas. He was also the major proponent of the establishment of a three-nation agreement with Canada and Mexico on nuclear materials and waste issues through periodic trilateral meetings.
Mr. Merrifield previously served as majority counsel and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Control and Risk Assessment. In this capacity, he drafted legislation dealing with solid and hazardous waste disposal and cleanup regulation. In addition, he acted as a legislative assistant to two U.S. senators and as an associate of the Washington, DC, law firm of McKenna and Cuneo, where he represented a broad range of clients on environmental, contracting, and regulatory issues.
Mr. Merrifield received his bachelor of arts degree from Tufts University in 1985 and his juris doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1992. He is a member of the bar of both New Hampshire and the District of Columbia.