Washington Post hints at Jacko having lost support from Senator Harry Reid.
From Washington Post (5/21/2012):
Nuclear Regulatory Commission chief Jaczko resigns
The nation’s chief of nuclear safety announced his resignation Monday after a turbulent three-year tenure that included allegations of bullying and misogyny in the workplace and of providing potentially false testimony at a congressional hearing last year.
The departure of Gregory B. Jaczko, an advocate of tough safety standards at nuclear reactor sites during eight years on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, caps almost a year of concerns about his leadership of the NRC, which he has chaired since 2009.
It also signals that he had lost the support of his former boss, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), a fierce opponent of efforts to store nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, a key concern of the nuclear agency. In a statement Monday, Reid thanked Jaczko for his service, noting his leadership of the agency in the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami and partial meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
“I am confident whomever replaces Chairman Jaczko will share his commitment to protecting the safety of the American people over the interests of a single industry,” Reid said.
Several congressional aides had said that Jaczko would resign only if Reid signaled that he could no longer give him political support. Aides reached Monday confirmed that diminishing support for Jaczko on Capitol Hill was a factor, but they also cited Jaczko’s desire to move on amid the allegations.
The White House can now nominate a replacement who could be paired with a Republican NRC member who requires confirmation for a new term as commissioner.
While Jaczko’s own flaws might have been a key factor behind his resignation, some supporters said he also fell victim to the nuclear power industry and its allies in Congress who were happy to seize upon a reason to question his leadership. A voice for tighter safety standards, Jaczko frequently found himself voting as the sole dissenter in key commission votes.
Jaczko’s tenure included the awarding of the first new nuclear construction permit in three decades and the U.S. response to the Japanese tsunami and nuclear reactor crisis.
“This is the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new chairman who will keep a strong focus on carrying out the vital mission of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” Jaczko said.
(Full article at the link)