Nuclear Regulation In An Era of Growth And Change

Gregory B. Jaczko, Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All

Special Session
co-sponsored by Woods Institute for the Environment, Precourt Institute for Energy, and Global Climate and Energy Project

With 104 operating nuclear plants in the United States, and dozens more on the drawing boards, who is protecting the public and the environment? Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko will discuss the simultaneous challenges of overseeing the existing fleet of reactors, managing in parallel multiple reactor design certification requests and multiple plant construction license requests, and overseeing the safety of and licensing an expansion of the nuclear fuel industry to support new plants, not to mention the storage of spent fuel.

Flier of Chairman Gregory Jaczko's Talk


The Honorable Gregory B. Jaczko was designated Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Barack Obama on May 13, 2009.  He was first sworn in as a Commissioner on Jan. 21, 2005, and his term runs through June 2013.  As Chairman, Dr. Jaczko is the principal executive officer of the NRC and its official spokesperson.  He is responsible for conducting administrative, organizational, long- range planning, budgetary, and certain personnel functions of the agency. He also has authority for all NRC functions pertaining to a potential emergency involving an NRC licensee.

Throughout his tenure on the Commission, Dr. Jaczko has focused on the NRC being a decisive safety regulator with the confidence of the public.  He has worked to have the agency clearly communicate with the public and its licensees.  Dr. Jaczko has been focused on the safety of existing nuclear reactors and radioactive materials, implementing a predictable safety review process for license applications, ensuring the agency conducts thorough environmental reviews, and promoting strong enforcement and accountability.
Dr. Jaczko has led efforts to strengthen security regulations for nuclear power plants – including requiring new nuclear power plants to be designed to withstand an aircraft crash.  He has championed initiatives to strengthen the safety and security of radioactive materials – including the development and implementation of a comprehensive national source tracking system.  He has promoted efforts to modernize emergency preparedness programs and to develop a Commission policy on the importance of a healthy “safety culture” at the NRC and its licensees.  Dr. Jaczko has also worked to shape agency budgets to ensure staff has the tools and guidance documents they need to do their jobs.
Dr. Jaczko's professional career has been devoted to science, and its use and impact in the public policy arena.  Immediately prior to assuming the post of Commissioner, Dr. Jaczko served as appropriations director for U.S. Senator Harry Reid and also served as the Senator's science policy advisor.  He began his Washington, D.C., career as a congressional science fellow in the office of U.S. Representative Edward Markey.  In addition, he has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University teaching science and policy.
Dr. Jaczko earned a bachelor's degree in physics and philosophy from Cornell University, and a doctorate in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.