By Andrew Restuccia - 05/21/12 07:19 PM EDT
Jaczko, who announced his intention to resign earlier Monday, said he would stay on as head of the NRC until Obama chooses his replacement. The White House, in a statement, said Obama will make a decision “soon.”
Hall’s statement underscores Republicans’ long-time distaste for Jaczko, a Democrat who used to work for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Republicans pounced on allegations by the other four NRC commissioners that Jaczko’s leadership style was causing “serious damage” to the agency that could harm the body’s ability to protect health and safety.
A 2011 inspector general report alleged that Jaczko controls information given to other commissions, though the report found that the chairman broke no law. The report also included claims from unnamed staff members that Jaczko often lost his temper, berating employees.
Jaczko has strongly denied the allegations that he verbally abused NRC staff, taking particular umbrage to claims that he targeted women.
Hall and the other top committee Republicans called on Obama Monday to nominate a nuclear official that supports completing a review of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.
It’s unlikely that Obama will nominate an official that supports completion of the review because the administration abandoned the project in 2009, infuriating Republican supporters of the nuclear waste storage site.
“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,” the lawmakers said.
They added: “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.”