Along with a bunch of other personnel announcements, Gregory Jaczko, who has been an NRC commissioner, now assumes the post of Chairman, replacing Dale Klein. Here’s the news from the NYT:
A former adviser to Senator Harry Reid is President Obama’s choice to lead the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, giving opponents of a nuclear waste repository in Mr. Reid’s home state of Nevada another well-placed ally. The new chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, has served on the five-member commission since January 2005. He will now serve as the commission’s official spokesman and as its chief executive, overseeing day-to-day operations as well as long-range planning.
Despite the comment on Yucca Mountain, we think its role in the near term was set before now. Jaczko has plenty to do; we doubt Yucca Mountain will dominate his agenda.
You can read the NRC’s mini-bio here.
Here’s NEI’s congratulations:
“The Nuclear Energy Institute congratulates Commissioner Jaczko on his ascension to the chairmanship of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In the four years that Commissioner Jaczko has served as a member of the commission, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to safety and transparency in our nuclear regulatory regime, along with considerable technology and policy insights with regard to the safe operation of civilian nuclear facilities.
“We greatly value the fact that, particularly in those instances where our views on how to best achieve a common goal—continued safe operations—have differed, our relationship with the new chairman has been marked by mutual respect and candor. I have the utmost confidence that this amicability and open communications with all stakeholders, including the industry, will continue for the betterment of the regulatory process.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s energy and environmental history. It is vital that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission achieve its mission through a predictable and fair regulatory philosophy that includes a disciplined approach with regard to licensing the new nuclear plants that will help the nation achieve its formidable energy and environmental goals. We welcome the opportunity to work with Chairman Jaczko toward this end.
“NEI thanks Dale Klein for his service as NRC chairman over the past three years. Under his leadership, the commission completed rulemakings in nuclear plant security and other significant issues, and began the efficient processing of 17 license applications for new reactors. We look forward to his continued involvement on the commission.”
And Sen. James Imhofe (R-Okla.) has put up an on-point congratulatory note:
"I look forward to working closely with him in his new role as chairman of the NRC," Senator Inhofe said. "Nuclear energy must continue to play an increasingly important role in our nation's domestic energy supply. As we work together toward that goal, I appreciate Chairman Jaczko's commitment to transparency and improving public communication, something I very much agree with.
"Also, I believe the Reaction Oversight process has worked well, so I am very interested to learn about Chairman Jaczko's suggestions for changing it. Any potential changes to performance indicators should avoid injecting unnecessary instability into the process."
So there you go. We’ll see if we can scrounge up some Jaczko quotes for contemplation.