POGO is encouraged that President Obama has designated Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Commissioner Gregory Jaczko to serve as the NRC Chair, thus bumping Dale Klein to a Commissioner's seat. In response to the NRC's botched handling of allegations of sleeping guards at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant, Commissioner Jaczko pushed for the NRC to change the way it handles allegations and interacts with allegers and their employers, as well as "broadening [the NRC's and power plants] safety culture to include security issues."
We hope that Chair Jaczko will take action to address many of the security vulnerabilities that have been identified by the security forces that guard the nuclear power plants and other experts. However, it's unlikely that Jaczko can make any real change until President Obama appoints a Commissioner to fill the vacant seat, thus breaking the 2-2 tie vote that has resulted in a rejection of recent staff recommendations to improve security at nuclear power plants. This is an opportunity for President Obama to appoint a Commissioner who is dedicated to improving nuclear security, and to show that he is serious about his commitment to preventing nuclear terrorism.
-- Ingrid Drake