Monday, May 21, 2012

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko to Resign as Obama Nominates Successor

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)


Atomfritz said...

This doesn't bode good.
Indeed, having read plenty of FOIA NRC transcripts, I had often the impression that Jaczko was the only commissioner left who put common sense above just being subservient to the nuclear industry.
Swinicki rarely said anything, as being just a foam-brained proportional representation female, while I remember Magwood as very good in playing down anything potentially uncomfortable for the nuclear industry.

Even the certification of the infamous chimney effect reactor AP-1000 didn't save Jaczko.
It's so sad that in the USA industry puppetdom increases in this extent. The US political class seems almost as rotten as the Japanese already.

I can't help, but sometimes I think Ted Kaczynski would be a better president than everybody who manages to crawl the way to D or R presidency and all the asses that open up on this path.

Anonymous said...

I've been an Obama supporter since alternatives show me nothing, but having a pro-nuke Obama administration choosing the next NRC chair sounds as hopeless as a Romney presidency.

Anonymous said...

Very sad news indeed.

Rest assured however that the US eventually will turn against nuclear power. Perhaps after the next accident. And without Jaczko's moderating voice at the NRC, this next accident will no doubt happen sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, please everyone, take the pledge to do at least one thing everyday to stop nuclear power. Talk to someone. Write a letter. Sign a petition. Circulate a petition. If we all do one thing a day, we will become like the wind, a wind of change that even the nuclear industry will not be able to overcome. Have heart and keep going. GAMBARIMASHO!

Together we can prevent the next accident and save a million lives.

There is no future in nuclear power. None. Not for anyone. Get the word out!

Anonymous said...

Wonder who GE has in mind to replace him?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I wonder what's in it for Reid.

Anonymous said...

What a farce.

Anonymous said...

@AtomFritz: "The US political class seems almost as rotten as the Japanese already."

Correction. More so. They corrupted the Japanese in the first place!. Another puppet at the NRC is just to play the game. Why should people listen to such a clown ?.

kintaman said...

So where will Jaczko move with his family? I can assume he will not live in Japan or West Coast North America. Everyone psy attention to his moves and try to see where he goes. Would be very interesting and telling.

tinkr55 said...

Jaczko's term was due to end on June 30th, 2012.
Someone (or many) wanted him ousted so badly that they could not wait another 5 weeks.
It will be interesting to see how this replacement plays out, and where Jaczko ends up, aside from being just a memory...
Curiouser and curiouser...

Anonymous said...

Kodak had their own nuclear reactor.

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