The purpose of the NRC is to make the nuclear industry as safe as possible. In preventing the removal of the waste, Jaczko is trying to make the industry as unsafe as possible.
But the irresponsibility shown by Mr. Jaczko in pursuit of his anti-nuclear crusade has not stopped there. On March 17, 2011, as Japan was reeling from the double impact of a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami, Jaczko gave testimony to Congress in which he wildly exaggerated the danger of radiation releases from the stricken Fukushima nuclear-power complex. Going farther, he issued an advisory to all Americans to stay 50 miles away from the disaster zone. Acting on this advisory, the U.S. military ordered forces to stay away from the area, leaving thousands of Japanese trapped in the rubble or shipwrecked at sea to die. (For the record, at this writing, 28,000 Japanese are known to have been killed by falling buildings, fire, disease, starvation, suffocation, drowning, or exposure. None have been killed, and not one member of the general public residing outside the plant gate has been injured, by radiation.)
In committing this prank, Jaczko did not just cause the deaths of untold numbers of Japanese, he did massive damage to U.S. strategic interests. The coming decades are likely to be characterized by rivalry between the United States and China, a contest whose outcome could well hang upon the orientation of Japan. Effective American action to rescue the people of Fukushima could have helped cement U.S.-Japanese friendship for another generation. Through his callous desire to create anti-nuclear hysteria no matter what the human cost, Jaczko aborted such action, and the consequences may come back to haunt us with a vengeance.
NRC inspector general Hubert Bell is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Tuesday, while Jaczko himself will come before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Thursday. The lawmakers involved should put him on the grill. Jaczko has broken promises to Congress, betrayed the duty of his office, put Americans at risk, and treated the lives of our allies with reckless disregard, all in pursuit of an agenda in direct contradiction to our nation’s critical economic and geostrategic needs. He needs to be removed.
— Robert Zubrin is president of the aerospace engineering firm Pioneer Astronautics, a Fellow with the Center for Security Policy, and the author of Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil. He holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering.