Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko testified before a Senate Committee today on nuclear safety reviews, two days after a House Committee investigated his management of the nuclear waste facility in Yucca Mountain.
In light of the nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee held a hearing earlier on the agency's safety review procedure for U.S. nuclear power plants.
At a recent Convention on Nuclear Safety, chairman Jaczko remarked “this review process provides us with an important venue to address the events in Japan and begin to formulate plans for short- and long-term cooperation,” he added that the report “continues to serve a critical purpose in generally advancing nuclear safety worldwide.”
Nearly three months since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the NRC continues to work on improving safety regulations for nuclear plants in the U.S. In mid-May, the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation made public inspection reports from U.S. nuclear power plants.
NRC Chairman Jaczko testified alongside NRC Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, George Apostolakis, William Magwood and William Ostendorff.
The hearing looks at Jaczko efforts to abandon the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, the subject of a report by NRC’s inspector general released last week.
The NRC's inspector general report alleges that Jaczko misled and withheld information from other commissioners in order to stop work on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The inspector general also criticized his management style.
The report did not accuse the chairman of violating any laws.