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U.S. Republicans gunning for NRC chief Gregory Jaczko,

Republicans seek new probe of NRC chairman Jaczko, Forbes, By MATTHEW DALY 08.25.11 WASHINGTON– Four Republican senators are asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general to investigate the agency’s chairman for what they say is a continued pattern of withholding information from colleagues and acting unilaterally on the commission’s behalf.

Lawmakers from both parties have criticized NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko, asserting that he has an overly secretive and controlling style. The GOP lawmakers say the latest example stems from Jaczko’s declaration in March that Japan’s nuclear crisis constituted an emergency in the United States.

GOP Sens. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and David Vitter of Louisiana said it is not clear that Jaczko had authority to make such a declaration, which grants him additional powers, since the crisis occurred on foreign soil. ….

An agency spokesman said Thursday that Jaczko acted within his authority, citing congressional testimony by the commission’s top lawyer. Steve Burns, the NRC’s general counsel, told a Senate committee Aug. 2 that Jaczko’s actions “were consistent with the powers that he has under the statute.”

While there was no specific event at a U.S. nuclear plant, the Japanese crisis presented an overall “threat environment” to U.S. sites, Burns told the Senate Environment Committee.

Jaczko, testifying at the same hearing, said he had informally rescinded the order, adding that no formal report was necessary because he had kept commissioners informed of his actions all along…

August 26, 2011 - Posted by | politics, USA

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