Nuclear Regulatory Commission chief Gregory Jaczko will be on Capitol Hill next week for hearings, and it looks like the No. 1 topic will be his relations with the panel's four commissioners. Things are especially nasty, reports the Hill. The commissioners (two Democrats and two Republicans) wrote a letter to the White House complaining that he has "intimidated and bullied" staffers. “We believe that his actions and behavior are causing serious damage to this institution and are creating a chilled work environment at the NRC,” they wrote. Politico has a copy of the letter, which was made public by Darrell Issa.
Jaczko, a Democrat, has his defenders. Rep. Ed Markey released a letter accusing the four members of attempting a "coup" and demanding that they "stop the obstruction." Jaczko also defended himself in a letter, saying that he consults often with the commissioners. “I do not always agree with their suggestions and advice, however, and that has led to a circular claim that if I exercise my statutory authority I am somehow abusing them.” Meanwhile, the agency is dealing with not-so-slight matters such as safety upgrades in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan and the consideration of applications to build new US reactors. (Read more NRC stories.)