The longest-serving member of the five-member commission announced in a press released statement that he will resign his post, adding “Serving the American people as the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been an honor and privilege. The mission of this agency – protecting people and the environment, and providing for the common defense and security – could not be more clear, or more critical.”Those of us paying attention have known this was coming for awhile now. As the only non-industry operated puppet on the regulatory commission, Jaczko weathered a coordinated coup d'etat highlighted in a dog and pony show last December in Congress and led by the likeliest industry-approved successor to the chair.
He sought to address some longstanding safety problems at America's nuclear power reactors, but with a background in nuclear physics and nuclear policy but not the nuclear industry, Dr. Jaczko was long viewed with skepticism and mistrust by some industry insiders.Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts said of his former advisor,
"Greg has led a sisyphean fight against some of the nuclear industry's most entrenched opponents of strong, lasting safety regulations, often serving as the lone vote insupport of much-needed safety upgrades recommended by the commission's safety staff," Mr. Markey said in a statement Monday.Jaczko's announcement comes following last week's NRC action to gut emergency planning and exercises designed to ensure coordinated response to emergencies at U.S. nuclear plants.
The new rule, reported Thursday, May 15, 2012, was issued with no fanfare and cuts nuclear emergency exercises involving federal, state and local governments.
Linda Lewis, a radiological emergency planning specialist and policy analyst, writes…
Not since the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina has the US federal government so callously ignored disaster red flags. Disregarding lessons of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, the Nuclear Regulatory Administration [NRC] secretively issued a new rule that decreases the frequency of emergency exercises and requires the use of exercise scenarios with no release of radiation, the Associated Press (AP) article reported Tuesday. The new rule will be implemented jointly by the NRC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).The entire article is well worth a read, though you're not likely to like what it's telling you.
Regulatory capture of the agency charged with ensuring the safety of nuclear reactors has actually worsened since the disaster last year at Fukushima, and there was never really anything one man could do to change that situation. I wish Jaczko well, and hope he will use what he has learned about how things nuclear really [don't] work to continue advocating strongly for the health and safety of the American people over the profits and graft of an industry embracing the most dangerous means of boiling water ever conceived in the twisted minds of men.