May 21, 2012
Gregory Jaczko Tried to Stand Up to Nuclear Industry; New Regulatory Chair Also Must Prioritize Public Health and Safety
Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program
News today of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chair Gregory Jaczko’s pending resignation is a terrifying example of industries trying to wreak havoc on those who regulate them – and winning.
Jaczko sought to create tougher rules for the nuclear industry in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster last year. But the nuclear industry wanted Jaczko gone from Day One. Jaczko stood alone.
Jaczko did all he could to stand up to the political and economic influence of the nuclear industry and set commonsense reforms to make the industry safer post-Fukushima. But it wasn’t enough. The other commissioners didn’t want to be so tough on industry.
It is essential that the NRC’s new chairperson prioritizes public health and safety over the influence of the nuclear power industry. The new NRC chair must come from outside the agency. The public interest community has zero confidence in one of the existing four commissioners to ascend to be chair.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.