If Japan's Madarame's Nuclear Safety Commission is "all about money", the US counterpart, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, seems all about political infighting.
It's Chairman Jaczko (Democratic appointee) vs Commissioner Svinicki (Republican appointee), with a former chairman fanning the infighting.
From Politico (8/16/2011):
NRC infighting goes nuclear
By DARIUS DIXON | 8/16/11 4:20 PM EDT
It's war at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko regularly faces the sharp end of Republican spears for his work to shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, but his biggest clash appears not to be with Capitol Hill but with fellow NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki.
Jaczko, a Democrat and former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Svinicki, a Republican, have sparred over everything from serious issues including safety reviews and agency budgets to minor items like foreign travel requests.
The tension between Jaczko and Svinicki is so thick that the two haven’t addressed one another in months, sources tell POLITICO.
“There’s been a history of punches and counterpunches,” David Lochbaum, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’s Nuclear Safety Project and a longtime observer of the NRC, said of Jaczko and Svinicki. “I don’t know who started it but at some point it doesn’t matter. It takes two to fight.”
... Dale Klein, a former NRC chairman, said he believed the report presented a tamer version of accounts than what was collected by investigators.
Klein described Jaczko’s behavior as “ruling by intimidation” and by cornering his colleagues on agency issues through the media. When it came to Jaczko’s interactions with Svinicki, he said, “While I was there, he would oftentimes yell at her.”
Before retiring from the NRC, Klein said he gave Jaczko a warning. "I had told him early on, several times, that the title is chairman — not dictator," Klein said.
The latest skirmish came last month after Jaczko went to the National Press Club to announce his plan to have the NRC review recommendations of a special Fukushima task force in 90 days. One problem: The chairman went forward with the proposal without convincing his fellow commissioners to support it, and his announcement was widely seen as a maneuver aimed at painting his colleagues into a corner. (Jaczko told the other commissioners about his plan, but there was little to no negotiation.)
Three commissioners — Svinicki, William Magwood and William Ostendorff — quickly moved to block the 90-day timetable.
For his part, Jaczko struck back last week, writing a memo saying his colleagues have a "preoccupation with process at the expense of nuclear safety policy."
Jaczko’s 90-day proposal was “the classic example of what not to do,” Klein said. “What’s magic about 90 days?
"That’s not the way that you’re going to build a consensus..."
(The article continues.)
Consensus? In nuclear safety?
Then Japan's NSC and NISA should be lauded for their exemplary consensus building over the decades.