|(Rockville, MD — January 1, 2015) – Rational average, ordinary, everyday Americans would agree that certainty and stability is needed in the nuclear power arena. They would agree that having a level of calm efficiency is essential at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the agency responsible for regulating the nation’s civilian nuclear program.
They would also agree that the past few years have been anything but calm.On October 21, Chairman Allison Macfarlane announced her decision to leave the agency , ending 15 months as the head of the nation’s nuclear energy watchdog.
“She did what she set out to do,” said a nuclear industry insider, speaking on condition of anonymity. “She returned order, dignity, and respect to an organization badly damaged by its previous chairman. And that was no small feat. All in all, she gets a glowing review of her performance.”
The tenure of her predecessor, Chairman Gregory Jaczko, was nothing short of tumultuous. Under orders of his benefactor, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Jaczko shut down the review of Nevada’s Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. Review for the storage facility, located 80 miles from Las Vegas, has since been restored by Macfarlane.
Jaczko gained notoriety for bullying colleagues and underlings, hastening his departure from the agency.
“He had a real problem playing with others,” said a nuclear industry insider, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He simply became too radioactive to work with.”
As toxic as the past few years have been, the next few may be even more troublesome – in part thanks to President Obama (D-IL/Kenya). Obama named Macfarlane’s replacement, Stephen Burns, as the agency’s chairman effective today.
Yes, that’s Stephen Burns.
Unfortunately, the owner of the fictitious Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, a staple of The Simpsons, is none other than Montgomery Burns.
“This agency needs to be taken seriously,” said a nuclear industry insider, speaking on condition of anonymity. The level of irony-impairment in this case is astounding. This appointment could set the agency’s mission back years.
“There’s one question on everyone’s mind, and it relates to Chairman Burns’ staff: will he bring Waylon Smithers to Rockville?”