Statement on Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman

WASHINGTON, May 21 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Commissittee, issued the following statement today on the resignation of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko:

"Chairman Jaczko has served the interests of the public extremely well on the commission, and his No. 1 focus has always been right where it should be - on ensuring that our nation's nuclear plants are being operated as safely as possible. He has a consistent voting record supporting the swift implementation of strong safety reforms, and he led the commission in pushing for reforms following the disaster in Fukushima. While I at times disagreed with the chairman on issues, I always appreciated his recognition that the NRC's job is not to promote nuclear power, but to be a strong safety regulator.

"For his efforts to hold the nuclear industry accountable, Chairman Jaczko was subjected to repeated personal attacks made by some of his colleagues and pro-industry advocates in Congress. I am extremely disappointed he is leaving the Commission.

"The American people deserve an NRC that is 100 percent committed to nuclear safety. President Obama must nominate a new NRC Chairman who will stand up to industry pressure and fight just as strongly as Chairman Jaczco has for safety reforms."