Jump to content

NewsBreak: NRC panel: Nuke chief damages agency


Recommended Posts

Washington Examiner:

Jaczko said Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, he is worried that U.S. nuclear plant operators have become complacent, just nine months after the nuclear disaster in Japan. He said recent instances of human error and other problems have endangered workers and threatened safety at a handful of the 65 nuclear power plants in the United States.

Four Nuclear Regulatory commissioners from both parties say they have "grave concerns" about the panel's chairman, charging that the actions of Gregory Jaczko are "causing serious damage" to the commission and creating a "chilled work environment at the NRC."

In a letter to the White House, the commissioners say Jaczko's bullying style could adversely affect the agency's mission to protect health and safety at the nation's 104 commercial nuclear reactors.

The two-page letter, signed by four of Jaczko's colleagues on the five-member panel, stops short of calling for the chairman to resign. But it says he "intimidated and bullied" senior career staff, ordered staff to withhold information and ignored the will of the panel's majority. The letter was signed by Democrats William Magwood and George Apostolakis, as well as Republicans Kristine Svinicki and William Ostendorff.

Jaczko, in a detailed response also sent to the White House, said problems at the agency were not his fault but instead stem from "lack of understanding" on the part of the other four commissioners.

Copies of the letters were obtained by The Associated Press.

The dueling letters come as Jaczko faces hearings in the House and Senate next week in which his behavior is likely to be an issue.

Commission members and staffers have long complained about Jaczko's brusque style, particularly when it comes to a decision he made last year to shut down the technical review of a proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. GOP lawmakers also complained that Jaczko may have acted illegally when he declared in March that Japan's nuclear crisis constituted an emergency in the United States.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the letter from the four NRC commissioners shows a serious breach in trust among the five-member commission. Issa's committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the NRC on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama "has the authority to take action to address these concerns," Issa wrote in a letter Friday to White House Chief of Staff William Daley. "The public deserves to understand what actions have been taken, and whether the president still believes that Chairman Jaczko is capable of leading the NRC."

The dispute comes after an inspector general's report released in June exposed long-simmering internal strife under Jaczko. The agency watchdog said Jaczko intimidated staff members who disagreed with him and withheld information from members of the commission to gain their support.snip
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1695792805
  • Create New...