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 ReidBiden fails to break GOP 'fever' Nevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms MORE (D-Nev.), a leading opponent of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada, and Rep. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyClimate progressives launch first action against Biden amid growing frustration Senate Democrats urge Google to conduct racial equity audit Senate climate advocates start digging in on infrastructure goals 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.”


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