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Surge Desk

Gregory Jaczko: 5 Facts on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman

Mar 17, 2011 – 1:57 PM
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Steven Hoffer

Steven Hoffer Contributor

Gregory Jaczko is spending more time in the public eye than usual.

As the aftermath of Japan's latest earthquake and tsunami continues to unfold, Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been called on to assess the destruction and to assure U.S. senators that a nuclear disaster such as the one facing Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant won't occur on American soil.

Jaczko, who went toe to toe with Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., on Wednesday at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, told senators that he was awaiting "good facts" on the Japanese situation so his committee can then make "good, credible, reliable decisions."

Here are five "good facts" to help you get to know Gregory Jaczko, compliments of Surge Desk.

1. He grew up in Albany, N.Y.
Born Oct. 29, 1970, in Norristown, Pa., Jaczko spent his childhood in the New York state capital before earning his bachelor's degree in physics and philosophy from nearby Cornell University. He later completed a doctorate in theoretical applied physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2. He was a Congressional Science Fellow
While still a graduate student, Jaczko completed the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in the office of U.S. Rep. Edward Markey.

3. He also has connections to Sen. Harry Reid
Another entry on Jaczko's lengthy resume of work combining political and scientific initiatives is his experience serving as science policy adviser and later appropriations director for Reid.

4. He was an NRC commissioner
Jaczko was first sworn in as a commissioner on Jan. 21, 2005, a nomination that allowed President Barack Obama to designate him as chairman of the committee without the congressional approval.

5. He has made safety a primary focus for the NRC
One of Jaczko's accomplishments as commissioner was to require new plants to be able to withstand a plane crash.

You can watch Jaczko's discussion with Sen. Barbara Boxer here:

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