Former United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko traveled to Japan this week, meeting Fukushima residents and stressing the importance of open dialogue and full information disclosure from the new nuclear safety agency which will be established in Japan after the March 11th nuclear disaster.
While speaking to Fukushima residents, Jaczko stated that nuclear power plants should not be operated if the safety laws cannot guarantee that a major accident requiring large-scale evacuations will not occur. Jaczko was also understanding of the recent protests after the restart of the Ohi nuclear reactors, adding that he feels that dialogue is important between the conflicting sides.
During he tenure as the NRC Chairman, Jaczko often pointed out that only through openness could the regulating agency best protect the environment and public safety.
On February 9, 2012 Jaczko cast the lone dissenting vote on plans to build the first new nuclear power plant in more than 30 years when the NRC voted 4-1 to allow Atlanta-based Southern Co to build and operate two new nuclear power reactors at its existing Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. He cited safety concerns stemming from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, saying “I cannot support issuing this license as if Fukushima never happened”.