Jaczko faces battle but accusers end up with mud on the face

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Let’s apply the usual Washington rules — nothing is what it seems and the motives of the accusers are often questionable — to a dust-up at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The four commissioners who wrote the letter, two Democrats and two Republicans, said Jazcko, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has “intimidated and bullied” senior staff, leading to a “chilled” work environment. They also charge that he has acted with “intemperance” and “disrespect” toward other commissioners.

Rep. Shelly Berkley says the four NRC members targeting Jaczko are simply trying to “turn our state into a radioactive wasteland,” while Sen. Dean Heller complained that the commissioners “should be focusing on the safety of the American public, not internal politics.”

The Nevada delegation should oppose efforts to get rid of Jaczko, and they should call the White House and tell Obama to do the same.

Maybe this is really about the strong record of Jaczko on nuclear safety and public health issues, including on Yucca Mountain.

The nuclear industry knows he won’t carry its water, so industry allies are trying to force him out.

According to one NRC observer, Jaczko is pushing hard for policies that will prevent blackouts at nuclear plants; much of the catastrophe at Fukushima can be pegged to power failures after the earthquake and tsunami there.

To begin with, if these incivility issues were cause for termination in Washington, half the government would be left unstaffed. More to the point, the lack of specificity of the charges is revealing.

Indeed, according to the government’s Office of Personnel Management, which surveys federal employees, the NRC is one of the best places to work in the federal government, which would seem to contradict the commissioners’ case.

Harry Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman issued a statement of support for Jaczko, saying he has “focused the NRC on its core mission: nuclear safety.”

The statement continued: “It is sad to see those who would place the interests of a single industry over the safety of the American people wage a politically-motivated witch hunt against a man with a proven track record of making sure nuclear power is produced as responsibly as possible.”

Source: Las Vegas Sun

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