In keeping with a familiar pattern, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko issued a press release in advance of the the official release of a damaging NRC Inspector General (IG) report about him. In my opinion, for what little it is worth, it is another example of his routine abuse of the power of his office. That report has not yet been made available to the public; we are at a significant disadvantage because we have not been able to read it so we could dispute his spin.
I signed up several months ago to the NRC’s notification service for Inspector General reports; I expect an email notification as soon as the report is released. That email has not yet arrived (as of 7:04 am EDT on June 27, 2012). I just checked the web site; it is not posted there either.
However, late yesterday afternoon, a friend sent me a copy of Jaczko’s June 26, 2012 press release that defended his job performance and claimed that the IG report exonerated him. Here is how that press release begins:
I have felt confident all along that my actions have been consistent with my responsibilities and authorities as Chairman, and certainly that there was no wrongdoing. This report underscores my belief. I appreciate the Inspector General’s independent investigation and am glad to put this behind us. The report raises nothing new of substance.
Not surprisingly, the Associated Press (AP), which has demonstrated a pattern of antinuclear reporting – ex: the series of reports last summer on nuclear power plant safety, which some of us noticed were pretty shoddy – apparently received an advance copy of the report. Establishment publications like New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have also apparently had a chance to glance at the report.
I’m going to hold my fire until I get a chance to read the report and see what the IG really said. For some odd reason, I think that Jaczko’s version is going to be “inconsistent” with the facts that the report presents.
There is one fairly certain thing – I do not believe the new reports that say that Jaczko has not faced any disciplinary action for workplace transgressions that violated US government regulations. Do you believe that he just woke up one day in May and decided to resign from his powerful position without any reason or push from his boss?
I was an “inside the Beltway” kind of guy for far too long to believe that line of political rhetoric. Jaczko was fired – oops, the politically correct lingo is “asked to resign” – because he was a lousy boss. He acted like an insecure leader because he was overwhelmed by the competent professionals that surrounded him. He was embattled because he was trying to execute marching orders that conflicted with their knowledge of the law and their deep understanding of the technology for which their agency is responsible.
I’ll have more after the report is actually available for “the rest of us.”