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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has approved President Barack Obama's nominee to chair the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an agency marked by discord in recent years.

Geologist Allison Macfarlane will replace Gregory Jaczko (YAHTS'-koh), who announced his resignation last month after a tumultuous three-year tenure. Jaczko came under fire for an unyielding management style that fellow commissioners and agency employees described as bullying.

Macfarlane, a Democrat, told a Senate panel this month that she will work to restore collegiality at the NRC. She also pledged to ensure a respectful working environment at the agency, which oversees safety at the nation's 104 commercial nuclear reactors. Her term runs through June 2013.

The Senate also approved Republican Kristine Svinicki to a new five-year term on the commission. Svinicki has served on the panel since 2008.

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