WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who was championed by watchdogs for his cautious approach to nuclear power but criticized by Republicans in Congress for an overly hard-charging style has announced he will step down.
Gregory Jaczko, who led the commission’s efforts to protect Americans in Japan during the nuclear crisis at Fukushima and played a key role in fighting the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain as a former top aide to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, came under scrutiny for what critics called an overbearing management approach at the agency.
His resignation is effective upon confirmation of his successor.
Jaczko “dedicated his tenure to improving the safety of nuclear energy,” Reid said in a statement. “His work toward a safe and effective nuclear energy policy has left Nevada and the nation more secure.”
Critics, though, have targeted Jaczko for dismissal after a report from the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee found “his management style and aggressive behavior simultaneously eroded the collegial structure” at the NRC.