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NRC Chairman Resigns

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the let's-all-get-along dept.

Government 100

After years of accusations of creating a 'chilled work environment,' Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko resigned this morning (PDF). His largest achievement was perhaps killing the Yucca Mountain waste repository, and he oversaw the certification of the AP1000 reactor. It is unknown whether a new chairman will be appointed from within the NRC. Quoting the Washington Post: "The reason for his resignation is unclear. He is stepping down before the release of a second inspector general report rumored to be into allegations of Mr. Jaczko's misconduct. NRC spokesman Eliot Brenner told The Washington Times that the report had no impact on the timing of Mr. Jaczko's resignation announcement. Mr. Jaczko's statement was vague, saying that it 'is the appropriate time to continue my efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum. This is the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new chairman...' While his statement did not specifically touch on the embarrassing revelations of his tyrannical approach to the job or its impact on NRC staff, he did sound a defiant note by claiming the NRC was 'one of the best places to work in the federal government throughout my tenure.'" Today also marks the start of the annual nuclear industry conference.

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100 comments

NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (5, Informative)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about 2 years ago | (#40070905)

In case anyone was wondering.

Thank God... (3, Funny)

mj1856 (589031) | about 2 years ago | (#40071033)

Because for a minute there I was really worried about the Norwegian Refugee Council [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Thank God... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071123)

I demand that the Chairman of the NRC resign because...

A Moose once bit my sister ...

Re:Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40072459)

Yeah, but she was just asking for it...

Re:Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071403)

Well that'd explain the complaints of a chilled work environment, Norway is cold enough as it is.

Re:Thank God... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#40073737)

...he did sound a defiant note by claiming the NRC was 'one of the best places to work in the federal government throughout my tenure.'

Of course he would think his job was one of the jobs in the federal government. He got to be a petty dictator without a lot of oversight. It totally sucked for everybody else who had to work for him, but that's their problem.

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071045)

I was wondering, until I RTFA.

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40071087)

so the summary was updated?

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2)

million_monkeys (2480792) | about 2 years ago | (#40071681)

so the summary was updated?

Maybe, but who cares? I'm not going to bother reading the summary, or even the first 13 words of it, to find out what the title is talking about.

Face it, the summary is the new article. No one reads it. It's all about the title now.

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (4, Funny)

redneckmother (1664119) | about 2 years ago | (#40071891)

Well, I'm tempted to skip reading the title, too. I think I can get away with posting my ususal inane, off topic ramblings as a reply to any random post.

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 2 years ago | (#40071939)

As my roommate was the head of the College Republicans on our campus, my first thought was the National Republican Committee.

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 2 years ago | (#40072249)

It's the Republican National Committee (RNC), not the National Republican Committee. You can remember the order if you remember the current chairman's name, Reince Priebus, since the letters are in the same order.

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 2 years ago | (#40073063)

Ah. I wasn't sure if something sounded weird about it...as you can see, I wasn't the one into the politics :)

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1)

rts008 (812749) | about 2 years ago | (#40073893)

It's the Republican National Committee (RNC), not the National Republican Committee.

Splitters!

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 2 years ago | (#40072241)

Don't I feel a dummy for thinking this may have been the National Research Council.

Re:NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1)

Dwonis (52652) | about 2 years ago | (#40073187)

Considering the hamfisted way our (Canadian) politicians have been running things, I wouldn't be surprised.

Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40070937)

This is what he deserves for pressuring Sony to fire Community creator Dan Harmon. #sixseasonsandamovie

Had to do with his management style, not policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071035)

The upcoming election made it necessary for Obama to replace him, lest he become an issue in the campaign. The WH Chief of Staff (Jacob Lew) is the one who would do the deed, but he's only been on the job since January, and there is always a crush of other stuff to worry about, so that might be why it hasn't happened sooner.

(disclaimer: this is from my reading articles just now, not prior knowledge).

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (3, Informative)

murpup (576529) | about 2 years ago | (#40071431)

You may be right, but also consider this. Commissioner Svinicki, a Republican, is up for re-nomination. Reid has already committed to letting her renomination vote come to the floor. With Jaczko timing his announcement now, it now gives Reid a lot more leverage with Republicans in being able to hand pick another anti-Yucca mountain lackey. The wildcard is whether Obama will nominate that lackey as Chairman, or whether he will nominate Commissioner Magwood.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (4, Informative)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about 2 years ago | (#40071527)

If we'd actually build some modern reactors, we'd not really need Yucca, honestly. Most that waste can be burnt up for more energy. Eventually, sure, Yucca.. but a much lesser quantity would be stored there. Enough that it'd really not be an issue for decades whether or not we shove it in there or not.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (3, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40071743)

I htought the entire point of Yucca mountain was to store the valuable "waste" for when we decided it was OK to use it (in a breeder reactor).

If you do the sane thing and let spent nuclear fuel sit on site for a few years, it won't be "hot" any more, and can be handled like any industrial waste - toxic, sure, but nothing special. It's just that this particular waste is a strategic resource, against a future where we'd need to start stockpiling nukes at cold war levels once more.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (4, Informative)

Surt (22457) | about 2 years ago | (#40072117)

I'm afraid you're in for disappointment if you do more reading. Yucca was for permanent storage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository#Original_standard [wikipedia.org]

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#40074739)

Yucca was for permanent storage.

It's not hard to change that. The special case of reprocessing vitrified fuel might be cumbersome, but Yucca can act as a temporary storage too for used fuel rods.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (1)

Surt (22457) | about 2 years ago | (#40078691)

Sure, it's not technically hard to change course. Politically, of course, it's a nightmare, because the fuel would have to be moved to a reprocessing plant.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40079775)

You've completely missed my point. Why are we storing it in the first place? Because it's valuable. It's for "permanent storage" in the same way that Fort Knox is for "permanent storage" of gold.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (1)

Surt (22457) | about 2 years ago | (#40082027)

My point is that no, that's not why we are storing it. I wish that were so, but it isn't. We're storing it because it's dangerous and we're incompetent to do anything better with it.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40082137)

Nah, though people get all irrational about the hazards of "nukular" anything. Once the short-lived isotopes have burned themselves out, it's just run-of-the-mill toxic waste, only dangerous because it's concentrated.

Spent nucluear fuel is quite valuable, however, and if we ever need to go on a nuke building spree sometime in the future, it's a strategic asset.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#40075817)

I htought the entire point of Yucca mountain was to store the valuable "waste" for when we decided it was OK to use it (in a breeder reactor).

Yucca was a political solution that didn't meet the original DOE specifications for appropriate geology, until the specifications were revised. Recent research has shown that the original "Defence in Depth" approach the DOE were advocating was indeed the correct one, i.e. Granite. Radio isotopes that leak out of the containment are captured by the geology. Further - a granite containment is also the ideal place for a systematic reactor like IFR (Integral means the reprocessing is done on site) which also mean the energetic return of the reactor is improved by being able to dispose of the reactor in situ. Unfortunately Yucca is Pumice.

Idaho only got Yucca because one of their representatives didn't show up, so by default the vote went against them. A much better approach is a containment facility based on good science and engineering.

If you do the sane thing and let spent nuclear fuel sit on site for a few years, it won't be "hot" any more, and can be handled like any industrial waste - toxic, sure, but nothing special. It's just that this particular waste is a strategic resource, against a future where we'd need to start stockpiling nukes at cold war levels once more.

This is the standard procedure anyway, the spent fuel is thermally hot so it has to cool for many years before containment and transport is possible.

In any case a good burner reactor program has it's foundation in an strong containment policy. For example a facility like NORAD in the Rocky mountains would be a similar construction project that could include research and commercial burner reactors, fuel, reprocessing and disposal of fissile ash could all be conducted on site. However you only get the energetic return if you can dispose of the reactor by sealing it in the mountain thus avoiding all the energy spent when decommissioning the reactor.

Based on current estimates of the U.S's pu-239 and u-238 reserves, a program like this could provide electric power for America for roughly 5000 years whilst providing approximately one third more electricity than current reactor programs provide and a powerful option for worldwide Nuclear weapons disarmament.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (1)

cnaumann (466328) | about 2 years ago | (#40075475)

There is a lot of volatile, dangerous stuff like Cs-135, Cs-137, and Sr-90 with half lives short enough to be hot as hell and long enough to be around for a while that you can't burn up for fuel because it has almost no neutron cross section. I find the idea that these can be efficiently transmuted in a MSR is highly optimistic.

Re:Had to do with his management style, not policy (1)

Creepy (93888) | about 2 years ago | (#40076131)

You seem to be referring to #1 here -
1) burning nuclear waste in an MSR - you still have lots of junk left over from the LWR, but at least you use the waste fuel, and LWRs are only .5% fuel efficient vs 99.5% for MSRs with on site fuel reprocessing. The same can be said for using LWR models that burn nuclear waste, such as the one Bill Gates proposed at TED a couple of years back, which I believe is being built in Russia.
2) burning new fuel, specifically thorium enriched to uranium in an MSR - this doesn't generate the long term wastes (as I recall, the worst decays in hundreds of years, no thousands), but does generate some shorter term waste with high signature. This actually is not necessarily bad - as I also recall there is no easy way to separate one of these elements from Uranium, making a high signature identifier that deters its use in nuclear weapons.

Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071037)

A "chilled work environment" is in my point of view a good motto for the branch.

Re:Well (2)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40071097)

a "chilled work environment" is a great thing for any NOC. maybe NRC not so much...

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40072047)

That was kind of an odd metaphor. "Chill" usually means the opposite of Dr. Jaczko's alleged style, which was hotheaded-ness.

What was the matter with "hostile work environment"? Maybe that was considered not hip enough. But, the hip use of "chill" is as in "chill out".

The Google guys might tweet a complaint about /. throwing sand in their search algorithms.

What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40071117)

It appears to be just as good a place as any to dispose of nuclear waste..... certainly better than leaving it in the plants, waiting for a disaster (like Fukushima where some of the stored waste was washed out to sea). Stupid politicians. Yucca has been shown to be stable. Just do it.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (4, Informative)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 2 years ago | (#40071153)

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (4, Funny)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40071183)

QUOTE: "That is why I proposed the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission of experts to make credible, scientifically sound recommendations for a new approach to nuclear waste. I am pleased that President Obama and Secretary Chu agree with this approach, and on March 3, 2010, announced the creation of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Americaâ(TM)s Nuclear Future. The commission includes distinguished nuclear energy experts, geologists, policymakers, and environmental policy experts. The panel has published draft recommendations and is scheduled to present their final report on the best alternatives to Yucca in January 2012."

They didn't come up with crap.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071861)

yucca mountain is for all intents and purposes finished. once harry reed goes away and is replaced by a younger statesman with less authority, IT WILL GO THROUGH. it's only a matter of time.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 2 years ago | (#40073727)

The people who want it in this state are in a very small minority. The state would probably file a lawsuit or start some other legal action to stop it if is only Harry Reid stopping it.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071623)

Well of course the Senator from Nevada voted against a nuclear waste storage facility in his state. The words "political suicide" come to mind.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071235)

Because of three reasons. First, is that people believe that our nuclear waste is safer than it really is where it currently is. Second, people believe that our nuclear waste is extremely dangerous when transported and will radiated all over the place. And finally people would rather not think about it at all (hence why most nuclear transports are done in secret, not due to the whole "terrorist" thing).

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071279)

Precisely, WA State has had serious issues with the way the Federal government has been managing the waste they left at Hanford, the process of cleaning up the dump has cost huge amounts of money and much of it has been stored in leaky barrels. IIRC they're restoring it in a sort of radioactive glass so that it doesn't leak into the ground water, but still.

Yucca Mountain might not have been the only option, but at this point it pretty much is and I haven't yet heard where all that material is going to be stored.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40071351)

>>>First, is that people believe that our nuclear waste is safer than it really is where it currently is

Well that's dumb. I'd rather have it buried underground in a safe manner, than sitting literally ~30 miles from my house in a pool of water, just waiting for an accident.

>>>Second, people believe that our nuclear waste is extremely dangerous when transported and will radiated all over the place

Also dumb. I've seen tests where nuclear cannisters were blown-up, and nothing happened. The cannister didn't even crack. (Again: Safer than leaving it in a pool of water 30 miles from my house.)

>>>finally people would rather not think about it at all

Well they must be doing SOME thinking, or they wouldn't be protesting Yucca Mountain disposal.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40071599)

I'm not sure if a Pavlovian response to the word 'Nuclear' can really be counted as thinking....

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (2)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40071761)

I'd rather have it buried underground in a safe manner, than sitting literally ~30 miles from my house in a pool of water, just waiting for an accident.

So your saying it's fine, as long as it's not in your backyard? It has to go in someone's backyard, might as well be yours.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071925)

Why does it have to go in anybody's back yard? You assume that it has to go into somebody's backyard, but the fact of the matter is that there's a hell of a lot of open space in the US that's a good ways away. And ignoring that, they could also work on properly storing it wherever they send it.

Both of which would address the GP's point just nicely.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40076705)

FINE put it in my backyard..... buried a mile deep in sealed canisters. I don't care as long as it's not sitting in a pool of water, just watiing for a leak. Keeping a dangerous radioactive fuel in that fashion is stupidity.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40079839)

We're only storing it because it's valuable, so it's going to be stroed in such a way that it's not so difficult to retrieve. If we just wanted to dispose of the waste, that's just not a hard problem - there's a tiny amount of it (on the scale of industrial waste), and as long as it's more than 5 or so years old, it's not especially dangerous (on the scale of industrial waste).

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 2 years ago | (#40071959)

It's unfortunate that you believe burying this waste will be sound policy. A better strategy would be using the waste as fuel within a liquid flouride thorium reactor (LFTR). We should have LFTR all over the nation as it is the safest generator of electricity and could solve major problems developed by the poor choices generated by past administrations for nuclear designs.

Interim solution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40072185)

Ship it to France.

Apparently they have the facilities [nytimes.com] to reprocess it into new usable fuel for their reactors.

Apparently America is too stupid to do the same.

Everything (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40072389)

First off, it never should have been built in Nevada. The best site was west Texas. But it was a decision that Poppa Bush made, hence the reason why NV was chosen.

Second, there is loads of energy in nuclear 'waste'. We should be burning it up. Right now, we are talking about transporting loads of 'waste' all over the USA. Instead, on all of the sites that are to be retired, we could instead put up a number of new GE IFR reactors. These would then be loaded with a small amount of normal nuke fuel, that is then mixed with on-site waste. Then in the future, nothing but on-site 'waste' fuel would be added. So, would there be waste from this? Absolutely. But NONE of it would be useful for a regular bomb (but it would work for a dirty bomb). In addition, the worst of it would be done within 200 years, rather than 20,000 years.
Note the difference with this approach. Basically, you have a site that has active cooling, transmission lines, generators, etc. and some old reactors. You put up enough GE reactor to replace one or more of the old ones, start it, and then start the destruction of one or more of the old reactors. Basically, you keep the site going to provide power. At the same time, we put up a NEW reactor that is based on a NEW design with physics behind it that prevents melt downs.

Re:Everything (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40074947)

You are talking about an unproven (at commercial scale) technology that will cost tens of billions to develop by the most optimistic estimates. Although the risk of meltdown is reduced it doesn't help with the risk of accident during handling of hazardous materials, which is where most accidents occur.

The IFR is not silver bullet, and the fact that no-one is willing to invest the cash in developing them should tell you something. Even in the UK where we have decided to build new nuclear plants with massive government subsidy no-one wants to try an IFR. Economically it just doesn't work.

Re:Everything (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40082301)

What is unproven? Thorium? Works great. See Fort. St. Vrain plant. Never a single issue with the reactor (the back end was a TOTALLY different issue).
The IFR? Well, S-PRISM is being developed right now by GE and will be trialed at DOE around 201[56]. Things actually look good for it.

Yes, the plant IS more expensive. After all, it has to re-process 'waste' fuel, in an automated fashion. And GE has a deal with the UK. Basically, once DOE has trialed it and NRC approves it, the UK will allow it to be built to process your waste fuel. In fact, it will go up around 2018.

Economically, nukes DO work, though they are more expensive then coal that is allowed to burn without a single thought about pollution.

Re:Everything (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40085727)

What is unproven? Thorium? Works great. See Fort. St. Vrain plant. Never a single issue with the reactor (the back end was a TOTALLY different issue).

From Wikipedia:

"Facility contractors introduced safety concerns on several occasions. In one of the more serious incidents, contractor personnel damaged hydraulic units, allowing hydraulic fluid to spray over reactor control cables. The same crew then performed welding operations to equipment located above the control cables. Hot slag fell onto the material used to contain the hydraulic fluid and ignited it, along with the fluid on the control cables. The fire involved the cables for five minutes, and 16 essential control cables were damaged. The contractor personnel then failed to inform plant personnel of the situation and the reactor was in operation for several hours in this condition."

Sounds really safe. Plus it was not a commercial scale nuclear plant, so wouldn't prove the economic and safety viability of one anyway.

The IFR? Well, S-PRISM is being developed right now by GE and will be trialed at DOE around 201[56]. Things actually look good for it.

So your evidence that the technology is proven is a research reactor that suffered numerous problems and something that hasn't been built yet. I bet you wonder why people are not lining up to invest in these things.

And GE has a deal with the UK.

They are not even in the negotiations. Too expensive, even with massive subsidy.

Re:Everything (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40095669)

What is unproven? Thorium? Works great. See Fort. St. Vrain plant. Never a single issue with the reactor (the back end was a TOTALLY different issue).

From Wikipedia:

"Facility contractors introduced safety concerns on several occasions. In one of the more serious incidents, contractor personnel damaged hydraulic units, allowing hydraulic fluid to spray over reactor control cables. The same crew then performed welding operations to equipment located above the control cables. Hot slag fell onto the material used to contain the hydraulic fluid and ignited it, along with the fluid on the control cables. The fire involved the cables for five minutes, and 16 essential control cables were damaged. The contractor personnel then failed to inform plant personnel of the situation and the reactor was in operation for several hours in this condition."

Sounds really safe. Plus it was not a commercial scale nuclear plant, so wouldn't prove the economic and safety viability of one anyway.

The IFR? Well, S-PRISM is being developed right now by GE and will be trialed at DOE around 201[56]. Things actually look good for it.

So your evidence that the technology is proven is a research reactor that suffered numerous problems and something that hasn't been built yet. I bet you wonder why people are not lining up to invest in these things.

And GE has a deal with the UK.

They are not even in the negotiations. Too expensive, even with massive subsidy.

You should have read the entire wiki, rather than individual parts that you wanted:

The plant was technically successful, especially towards the very end of its operating life, but was a commercial disappointment to its owner. Being one of the first commercial HTGR designs, the plant was a proof-of-concept for several advanced technologies, and correspondingly raised a number of early adopter problems that required expensive corrections.

Basically, the reactor part worked great. Nobody faults it. What failed is that GA had done some work in the back-end that was a disaster. Yet, NONE of that affected the thorium reactor.
Now, as to the small size:

The reactor had an electrical power output of 330MW (330 MWe), generated from a thermal power 842 MW (842 MWth).

Sorry to disappoint you, but the average reactor size of the 60s was about this size.

The Japanese reactor actually had ONE issue. They have had very few flaws. Yes, that one was major, but it is now known. The IFR is nothing more than a simple sodium cooled reactor in which the fuel is pulled out via robotics and manipulated. Where will that robotics design come from? Why from the current MOX and uranium processing plants that we have all over the world.

UK NDA signs contract with GE Hitachi for study on Prism reactors for Pu disposition [i-nuclear.com]

And per the deal with the EU, ZERO subsidies are allowed on nukes.

Re:What's wrong with Yucca Mountain? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 2 years ago | (#40073691)

I get that it needs to be stored somewhere, but the residence of that place need to approve it. You shouldn't be able to force something on a population that doesn't want it and that's the main problem. The majority of the people here don't want it.

no brainer (4, Insightful)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40071133)

it's always "the appropriate time to continue ... efforts ... in a different forum" when you're about to be slammed with "allegations of ... misconduct."

Re:no brainer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40085815)

I hope he didn't burn his bitches behind him. You never know where you end up working in the future.

I hope I got that right, English idiots and sayings are always so difficult for a foreigner.

Resigning (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | about 2 years ago | (#40071221)

I guess people were on him to get angry enough to go nuclear and have a meltdown..

Re:Resigning (1)

Widowwolf (779548) | about 2 years ago | (#40071225)

Screwed up my own joke dammit I guess people were waiting on him to get angry enough to go nuclear and have a meltdown..

Re:Resigning (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#40073291)

Wouldn't a chilled work environment help prevent things from getting steamed and exposing some dangerous situations?

Bahis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071229)

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Storage Space (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071237)

Maybe the people whining about how safe nuclear waste storage is should volunteer to keep it in their basement.

We have a winner! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071333)

Maybe the people whining about how safe nuclear waste storage is should volunteer to keep it in their basement.

You win! The first NIMBY comment of the article!

And what is your prize you might wonder? Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt by the hogshead.

Please sir, tell us, how do you plan to spend your winnings?

Re:Storage Space (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#40071397)

Hell, if the US government wants to pay me for it, they can store it in my basement. Those travel canisters they use are as damn near to indestructible as you can get. And the armed guards they'd have to supply would take care of any security monitoring I'd want.

Re:Storage Space (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#40071885)

Maybe the people whining about how safe nuclear waste storage is should volunteer to keep it in their basement.

Well, if I lived in a place where "basement" was more than just a word in a dictionary, I wouldn't mind it at all.

Re:Storage Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40072217)

Where do you live?

Re:Storage Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40074103)

Probably Florida or someplace else with a similarly high water table.

He is not reisgning because of misconduct... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071429)

He is simply stepping down to pursue a career for a nuclear energy corporation as a consultant, where he will get losts of money with consulting fees... Totally unrelated to his work as the chairman of the NRC...

Hopefully, we speed up development. (5, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40071501)

We need a number of new reactors. In particular, we need the micro to medium size reactors that can be built in a factory. In addition, we need GE's IFR (to burn up nuke 'waste'), as well as thorium reactors.

Re:Hopefully, we speed up development. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40075051)

Sounds like you need a few hundred billion dollars. Good luck getting funding for all that as worldwide demand for nuclear decreases.

Re:Hopefully, we speed up development. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#40082253)

And yet, the development is going on. Basically, the question is, how can we speed it up to get SAFE reactors to the site? I do not think that nuke is a total solution, but it needs to be part of our energy matrix.

I myself would like to see us come up with an electric policy in which we limit an energy type to less than 1/3 of the input. For example, fossil fuel should account for no more than 1/3 of our energy, which is currently 60-65%). AE, with wind, solar, geo-thermal, and hydro is around 15-20%. And nukes account for 19%. In time, as AE is better developed, esp. geo-thermal, we need to move off fossil fuel and nukes over to AE.

Creating a chilled work environment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071513)

...is job #1 in the nuclear regulatory business.

Expect no less.

Next (4, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | about 2 years ago | (#40071867)

A house committee watched while Jaczko's four fellow NRC board members, two of which were appointed by Obama, publicly condemned him while sitting to his immediate left and right. In recent congressional history, that scene is only trumped by Vollmer claiming executive privilege.

Understand that their world, political appointees near the very top of regulatory bureaucracy, is one of connections. You don't do dramatic things in public unless you really, really mean it, because whatever you do will be with you forever. Jaczko has to be some kind of way over-the-top SOB to wind up in that situation before Congress.

He's never offered one genuine, unqualified note of concession about any of it. Everyone else is wrong. "I believe strongly in safety" is as close as he's ever gotten to an explanation. Turning the NRC board of commissioners into a snake pit is somehow supposed to promote safety.

You-know-who will just foist another anti-energy extremist on the NRC after the election, so don't bet on any improvement.

Re:Next (2)

Jerry (6400) | about 2 years ago | (#40072339)

He's never offered one genuine, unqualified note of concession about any of it. Everyone else is wrong. "I believe strongly in safety" is as close as he's ever gotten to an explanation. Turning the NRC board of commissioners into a snake pit is somehow supposed to promote safety. ...
  and he oversaw the certification of the AP1000 reactor.

Believes in "safety", eh? He should read this [google.com] .

Re:Next (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#40075999)

Strange how they cite liner corrosion of the AP1000 as a problem before a single AP1000 has ever been build.

Critique where it is due, not where it is not. If inspections are a problem, this is a problem of inspections, not of the AP1000. Period.

Re:Next (1)

Jerry (6400) | about 2 years ago | (#40080285)

Not any stranger than Westinghouse claiming that a non-existent reactor is the safest ever made. IF you had read the PDF you would have noticed that what was being pointed out was that the AP1000 reactor core has only a single wall of isolation from the environment, whereas previously built reactors had two. Yet, despite having two walls, past records show that the NRC was ignoring leakages and failures in other two-walled reactors in order to fast track approval for the AP1000. IF the documented leaks in two walls prove they lack sufficient safety it gives cause for concern about the safety of only one wall.

Oooh Me! (0)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#40071909)

Because I can say Clean Atomic Energy! with the reverb and the exclamation point and everything!

Yeah we'd be atomic everything in a year!

Obama is really serious about global warming...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40071957)

We know that Obama is very serious about global warming, because in a speech he said we need to consider all low-carbon energy sources "including nuclear".

And the actual policy changes coming out of the Obama administration? Almost total opposition to all things nuclear, and scuttling the waste storage at Yucca Mountain. Why, it's almost as if Obama is actually opposed to nuclear power.

It remains to be seen if Obama actually believes in global warming, in which case his policy seems to be "destroy energy sources without creating any new ones", or if he just says whatever he thinks will help him at the current moment, and doesn't actually believe it.

Much as I hate dishonesty, I think I'm more worried if our president thinks destroying energy sources without viable replacements is the right thing to do, especially during a depression. Worst yet would be if he really believes that solar, wind, and tidal power are viable replacements for a large coal plant or a nuclear plant.

Re:Obama is really serious about global warming... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40072223)

Never trust a nigger. I tried to tell you people, but you wouldn't listen. Kept calling me a racist for exclaiming the truth. Who's the racist now?

Re:Obama is really serious about global warming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40072357)

Who's the racist now?

That would be you. Unless you are just a troll, which is bad also.

Re:Obama is really serious about global warming... (1)

cdrguru (88047) | about 2 years ago | (#40075583)

Unfortunately, everything that Obama has actually done shows a path to reducing energy availability and energy use rather than changing the way energy is generated in the US. He has said openly that he wants to financially destroy coal generation, and I believe him. No changes have been made in the licensing and permitting process for nuclear generation, which means a very small group of people (one, perhaps?) can block construction at any point in the process.

Obviously he believes in two things: AGW is real, and resource use in the US is out of line with the rest of the world and must be reined in.

As the Republican candidate for president can only win if people are so totally disgusted with Obama that it is "Obama Must Go"
(OMG!), there is a substantial chance that we will be looking at the next four years where energy use becomes more expensive and less reliable. Reliability is the key because businesses will be forced to self-generate in some manner without a reliable external source. Homes will go the same route for people with the money to do so - how many times can you tolerate a blackout for eight or more hours? And what would it really take for you to be able go off-grid?

The real problem is going to be for people that simply do not have the disposible income to invest in solar or wind systems. For example, anyone living in an apartment complex in the northern part of the US - solar simply isn't practical for the building owners and so the tenants are going to be at the mercy of whatever is left over after commercial interests get priority on electricity during the day. You will have a remote switch on your meter to simply turn off your electricity soon.

Re:Obama is really serious about global warming... (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 2 years ago | (#40075843)

Obviously he believes in two things: AGW is real, and resource use in the US is out of line with the rest of the world and must be reined in.

I could believe this up until the point where the administration refuses to invest in wind and solar solutions that cannot viably provide the energy needed for the most basic needs of the American populace. Not only invest in it but continually fail due to their inability to comprehend market competition and/or solution oriented systems for most of America. Even Obama's supposed home town of Chicago could never rely on wind or solar to solve any significant percentage of its energy needs due to the low return dependent on climate for those technologies.

If someone in the current administration believed that AGW was real they would be champions for liquid flouride thorium reactor (LFTR) technologies. Small footprint systems, can burn nuclear waste, cannot meltdown, cannot make weapons-grade elements. I believe that these could be produced for far less than comparable densities of other carbon-free energy technologies. Yet we continue to ignore technology in favor of a politically controlled "public" energy utilities packed with fairly obvious positions of payoff that look to the future by using whatever energy creation method makes them the most money.

Re:Obama is really serious about global warming... (1)

Creepy (93888) | about 2 years ago | (#40076391)

LFTR is ignored because the nuclear lobby is entirely backed by owners of light water reactors. It would be stupid for them to back competing technology - heck, they used their leverage to get Jakczko ousted because he was pro safety and they were pro profit. One of the previous lobby groups (the current lobby is a amalgamation of several separate ones from the 1970s) also managed to get Nixon's ear to get Weinberg ousted from Oak Ridge in the 1970s when he wanted us to invest more in molten salt reactors in the name of safety (Weinberg invented the LWR and was running the MSRE or molten salt reactor experiment at the time). Once again, the almighty dollar trumps safety, because as BP proved with their oil well (not to mention numerous refinery issues before the disaster, like the Texas City one that killed 15 people), profits are much more valuable than safety.

Another One Bytes The Dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40072501)

Good riddance.

Though gone from 'office' I'm well sure there are still plans in action for his killing, since 'real' money has already been transferred and 'assets' mobilized.

non-LoL

Was this a hachet job? (5, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 2 years ago | (#40072599)

There is another way of reading this: Jaczko was rocking the boat, and interfering with the cozy relationship between the regulators and the nuclear industry. Therefore he was forced out, because he was challenging the status quo.

Note that none of the criticism was about technical issues, it was all about "style". Jaczko was publicly critical about failings in the safety culture at the NRC and the industry, and his position became more pronounced after Fukushima. He was saying that we were at risk for a similar accident because the NRC was not holding the reactor operators to a high enough standard. So if his concern about poor risk management is correct, and they want to get rid of him, the best option is a personal attack, which is exactly how this is playing out.

In that vein, there were just a reports on KCBS in Southern California about serious safety lapses at the now closed San Onofre nuclear plant:

The NRC allows San Onofre to compensate for its failure to keep enough separation between the main and back up cables by hiring workers to conduct hourly fire inspections in the areas where the cable are too close together. But some of those fire watches were never done.

We’ve obtained a previously classified report which shows one worker “deliberately failed to conduct required fire protection surveillances and falsified fire watch logs.”

And the report says it went on for five years between the dates of April 2001 and December 2006.

Then in 2009, another fire watch employee was “observed smoking what appeared to be marijuana in the licensee’s protected area.”

In both cases, the fire watch employees were fired – but the NRC did not fine or discipline Southern California Edison for its part in failing to recognize five years of non-existent inspections.

If that isn't bad enough, the NRC is now cutting back on evacuation planning requirements.

Without fanfare, the nation's nuclear power regulators have overhauled community emergency planning for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away.

Nuclear watchdogs voiced surprise and dismay over the quietly adopted revamp — the first since the program began after Three Mile Island in 1979. Several said they were unaware of the changes until now, though they took effect in December.

At least four years in the works, the changes appear to clash with more recent lessons of last year's reactor crisis in Japan. A mandate that local responders always run practice exercises for a radiation release has been eliminated — a move viewed as downright bizarre by some emergency planners.

...

The Web archives of FEMA and the NRC show no news releases on the changes during December 2011 and January 2012. The revisions took effect Dec. 23, at the peak of the holiday season when Americans tend to focus on last-minute gift shopping and social gatherings.

Given this context, there is a good case to be made that Jaczko being forced out is an example of how meaningful criticism is punished by inbred bureaucrats. This is exactly the same mechanism that lead the Japanese regulators to ignore tsunami warnings at Fukushima and make equally bad decisions about on site back up power.

Don't be surprised when we have a serious nuclear accident here in the US. With this kind of broken regulation, it is inevitable.

Re:Was this a hachet job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40075285)

There is another way of reading this: Jaczko was rocking the boat, and interfering with the cozy relationship between the regulators and the nuclear industry.

I hear what you're saying, and the "revolving door" problem is a well-known issue in all regulatory agencies. The only people with sufficient technical expertise to keep an eye on things are often people who've worked (or will work in the future) within the regulated industry. In this case, however, Jaczko is getting just what he deserves.

The professional staff at NRC live in fear of him. Not because he's "tough but fair," but because he's an outrageous bully. He screams like a maniac over tiny, worthless disagreements. At the "who took my favorite coffee cup from the break room" level, not the "you made a mistake in this vital technical report" level. A close friend who I trust quit a position in the Commissioners' office because the daily abuse and hostility toward Jaczko's "lessors" was so bad. In short, he's a dickhead.

He was a staffer for Sen. Reid, and was appointed to the Chairmanship as a favor to Reid. His sole purpose in the post was to torpedo evaluation of the Yucca Mountain license application. Having succeeded at that, and terrorized the professional staff for a while, his "work" is done. He's been a thorn in everyone's side, which will certainly endear him to the anti-nuclear folks... no doubt he has a lucrative career ahead of him on the lecture circuit and penning anti-nuclear editorials that will now have more weight than they deserve. After all, he's the former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. His disgraceful personal conduct and lack of real qualifications will be forgotten far more quickly than the bullet point on his resume.

Re:Was this a hachet job? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#40075391)

FTA:

"Testimony of his peers revealed that Mr. Jaczko is prone to 'continued outbursts of abusive rage,' 'ranting at the staff,' 'raging verbal assault' and inspiring panic attacks in subordinates, particularly women. This was on top of an inspector general's report that mentioned staff complaints about Mr. Jaczko creating 'an intimidating work environment.' In the face of such evidence, Mr. Jaczko's defense that he's just 'passionate about safety' is pretty weak tea."

What you say might be true, but all evidence points to the guy being a total jerk. The NRC's place is to make the nuclear industry safe and productive; he didn't seem to be working toward that goal.

Re:Was this a hachet job? (1)

Creepy (93888) | about 2 years ago | (#40076545)

All of these traits were exhibited by Steve Jobs, and he made Apple one of the most productive companies in the world. Just because the guy's a dick doesn't mean he isn't right - IMO the nuclear industry is lax when it comes to safety and more concerned about their bottom line than their workers. It also stinks of a smear campaign, but I'd have to know more to know if it is - guy doesn't follow lock-step with what the nuclear industry wants, so the nuclear industry uses its leverage to get him ousted.

Re:Was this a hachet job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40076217)

There is no cozy relationship between the NRC and industry, that is fantasy. It's like saying there is a cozy relationship between McDonalds and PETA - absurd.

The purpose of the NRC is to ensure the safe operation of nuclear plants, not to "keep our boots on their throats".

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