Republicans call for NRC chief's ouster

Whitfield's letter cites the need to “reinstate trust” in the NRC’s ability to regulate the nuclear industry and calls on Obama to immediately replace Jaczko as chairman.

E2 has more on the allegations against Jaczko and his defense here, here, here and here.

The letter also alleges that Jaczko is doing the bidding of two of his former bosses: Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP embraces big stimulus after years of decrying it Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate Winners and losers from Super Tuesday MORE (D-Nev.), a leading opponent of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada, and Rep. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Energy: Critics blast EPA move as 'license to pollute' during pandemic | Trump expected to roll back Obama mileage standards| Group plans to sue over rollback of water law Hillicon Valley: Twitter says Chinese official's virus disinformation doesn't violate rules | Hackers target WHO | Senators urge agencies to stop coronavirus robocalls Senators urge FCC, DOJ to combat coronavirus robocalls MORE (D-Mass.), a longtime nuclear power foe.

Whitfield claims that “many” members of Congress are concerned that Jaczko is “openly advancing the policy and political agendas” of Reid and Markey.

Whitfield, who chairs the panel's Energy and Power subcommittee, had already called on Jaczko to resign in June. But the newly revealed complaints by Jaczko’s NRC colleagues have intensified GOP criticism of the NRC chairman.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the Environment and Economy subcommittee, is also calling for Jaczko to be fired, and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is escalating his attacks on the NRC chairman this week.

Jaczko has come under fire during his tenure for his efforts to halt work on review of the Yucca Mountain project, which the Obama administration is trying to kill.

Jaczko has also clashed with colleagues over his push for quick adoption of a task force's recommendations to boost U.S. reactor safety standards in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.

But Markey on Monday defended Jaczko, calling attacks on him the result of his attempts to bolster an agency that Markey claims has long been a “lapdog” for the nuclear industry.

Reid struck a similar note over the weekend and again on Tuesday, calling Jaczko a “very brilliant man.”

“His number one concern during the entire time he's been at the NRC is nuclear safety,” Reid told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday. “I'm sorry to say a number of the people who work with him at the commission are not concerned about safety at all. They are concerned about the nuclear industry.”

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Jaczko is slated to appear at a pair of congressional hearings this week.

On Wednesday the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is having a hearing on the NRC, and on Thursday the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will gather to review post-Fukushima safety reforms.


—Andrew Restuccia contributed