Inspector General Criticizes Nuclear Chairman Jaczko for Secret Yucca Mountain Decision

Monday, June 13, 2011
Gregory Jaczko
Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), has been accused of deliberately withholding information from his colleagues in an effort to stop work on the controversial Yucca Mountain waste dump in Nevada and making decisions without consulting them.
The accusation was leveled by the NRC’s inspector general, who examined Jaczko’s actions that led up to the NRC scuttling the project in 2009, after the government spent 23 years developing the site as the nation’s repository for nuclear waste.
Jaczko “was not forthcoming with the other Commissioners about his intent to stop work,” according to the IG report that followed a seven-month investigation. The chairman knew his moves to kill Yucca Mountain “could be controversial” and “he strategically provided three of the four other Commissioners with varying amounts of information about his intention to proceed to closure.”
The inspector general also noted that some NRC staffers found it difficult to work with Jaczko because of his “forceful management techniques” and that “A number of NRC senior managers interviewed described examples of the Chairman losing his temper with them.” Jaczko acknowledged that he made it difficult for people to work with him and said that he regretted it.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Report Slams U.S. Nuclear Regulator (by Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal)
Inspector General Report (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) (pdf)


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