Republican: Nuclear regulator should resign

A top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee has called on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko to resign.

"I do think he needs to step down," Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday in the Capitol. Whitfield is chairman of the committee's Energy and Power subcommittee.

Whitfield's call for Jaczko's resignation comes just days after the NRC's inspector general released a critical report alleging that Jaczko kept key information from his fellow commissioners as he pushed to abandon plans to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. But the report says Jaczko broke no laws.

A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing Tuesday on the report. The hearing included testimony from NRC Inspector General Hubert Bell.

Republicans bashed Jaczko, arguing he acted inappropriately in "strategically" releasing partial information to NRC commissioners about his intentions to shut down a technical review of the Yucca Mountain project.

But Democrats maintained that the chairman broke no laws.

"Despite the rhetoric that we’ve heard over the past months, today we won’t be presented with evidence of lawbreaking," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the panel.