The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is world renowned for its high standards and exceptional performance, at least it was until Gregory Jaczko took over. Jaczko wants to be the sole decision maker in a panel of five and claims they are after him in a politically motivated cabal.
There are four commissioners besides Jaczko, two are Republicans and two are Democrats. I can’t imagine what the political motivations of the two Democrats could be.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko is causing “serious damage” to the agency and is “creating a chilled work environment,” his four commission colleagues said.
Jaczko has bullied career staff and attempted to intimidate an independent panel of technical advisers, the other NRC commissioners said in an Oct. 13 letter to White House Chief of Staff William Daley, released yesterday by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
As one example of politically motivated behavior, Jaczko stopped work on the Yucca mountain without telling anyone. Jaczko, a Democrat, was probably acting in response to Obama’s call to shut Yucca down.
Jaczko claims that the commission has moved to reduce safety standards and the commission insists that Jaczko, who is responsible for regulating 104 commercial reactors, is endangering public safety.
Jaczko wants sweeping changes in response to Japan’s nuclear near-meltdown. Japan went through a record earthquake and a tsunami immediately afterwards, which were “never-before” events, but Jaczko seeks to use it as an excuse to over-regulate the nuclear industry. The NRC’s post-Fukushima changes to safety regulations for existing plants are expected to cost millions for operators including Exelon and Entergy Corp.
Jaczko has significant temperment problems and could be a serious mental case. He publicly demands his commission work quickly and chides industry for moving too slowly. His critics say he has one short fuse.
In a letter, 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 four commissioners described him “storming out of an agenda planning meeting while a colleague was speaking,” and complained that he yelled at them on the phone. The letter was signed by Democrats William Magwood and George Apostolakis, as well as Republicans Kristine Svinicki and William Ostendorff.
Emails between Jaczko and the other commissioners expose him as seizing power while the other commissioners want majority rule.
The NRC commissioners will testify before Rep. Issa on December 4th.