Committee Leaders Comment on NRC Chairman's Resignation

Statement

By:  Paul Broun Andy Harris Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Date: May 21, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX), Vice Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-GA), and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD) issued the following joint statement regarding the announcement that Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko is stepping down from his post.

We welcome Chairman Jaczko's resignation announcement and look forward to new stewardship at the NRC. However, because Chairman Jaczko conditioned his resignation upon confirmation of his successor, the problems associated with his troubled leadership will remain indefinitely. Accordingly, we call on him to step down from his post immediately and allow an acting chair to be appointed in his place.

Last June, a Committee Majority Staff Report documented concerns with Chairman Jaczko's leadership and handling of scientific issues at the NRC, which were further exacerbated when four NRC Commissioners took the extraordinary step to write President Obama detailing the unprofessional atmosphere caused by Chairman Jaczko's actions. It is time to put the Federal Government back on the path to meet its statutory obligations to manage the nation's nuclear waste.

First and foremost, the President should nominate an NRC Chairman committed to scientific integrity and completion of the Yucca Mountain License Application and associated Safety Evaluation Report, an independent evaluation of the scientific and technical suitability of the site to safely serve as a geologic repository for nuclear waste. After committing billions of taxpayer dollars and decades of scientific study, the NRC owes it to the American taxpayer to make a determination regarding whether the site can meet the scientific and technical thresholds to serve as a repository.

It is time to restore the NRC's sterling reputation as an effective independent regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety of America's nuclear reactors and leave Dr. Jaczko's troubling tenure as Chairman to history."

In December, when reports surfaced of Chairman Jaczko's pattern of bullying NRC staff, intimidating NRC technical advisors, and abusing his authority as Chairman, Committee leaders called for Chairman Jaczko to step down from the NRC.