Murkowski: NRC Commissioners’ Letter Raise Troubling Concerns

Accusations of Bullying and Intimidation by NRC Chairman Must be Addressed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today called on President Obama to address concerns raised by members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about the actions and management style of the agency’s chairman, Gregory Jaczko.

“I have serious concerns about the ability of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to protect the safety of the nation's 104 commercial nuclear reactors under the divisive leadership of Chairman Jaczko,” Murkowski said. 

Four of the five members of the NRC sent a letter two months ago to the White House complaining that Jaczko’s management style was causing serious damage to the commission. The two-page letter was signed by Democrats William Magwood and George Apostolakis, and Republicans Kristine Svinicki and William Ostendorff.

“There have been signs for some time that the chairman’s politicalization of matters crucial to the nation’s energy security was disrupting the vital work of the commission, including resolving the issue of the permanent disposal of the nations' spent nuclear fuel and responding to safety concerns raised by the Fukishima accident,” Murkowski said.

“Now, reports have surfaced that Chairman Jaczko intimidated senior agency staff and ordered them to withhold information from other members of the commission and from Congress. If true, these actions represent a serious breach of the public’s trust,” Murkowski said. “Such behavior is unacceptable at any level of government and a response from the president is long overdue. The president needs to immediately address the concerns raised by the four commissioners if he wants members of Congress and the public to have faith in the agency.”