After nearly eight years on the Commission, I am announcing
my resignation as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, effective upon the confirmation of my successor.
My responsibility and commitment to safety will continue to
be my paramount priority after I leave the Commission and
until my successor is confirmed.
After an incredibly productive three years as Chairman, I
have decided this is the appropriate time to continue my
efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum. This is
the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new
chairman who will keep a strong focus on carrying out the
vital mission of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
During this last year alone, the agency has responded with an
impressive focus on safety under my leadership to a number of
diverse challenges including the accident at the Fukushima
Da-ichi reactors in Japan, and a number of severe incidents
at reactors in the United States ranging from flooding, an
earthquake and tornados to damaged plant structures and steam
generator problems. In addition to this vigilant oversight,
together we identified and began to implement lessons learned
from Fukushima and completed our rigorous safety reviews for
the first new reactor licenses in 30 years.
Throughout my time on the Commission as both Chairman and
Commissioner, the agency finalized regulations to ensure new
reactors are designed to withstand an aircraft impact,
completed the development and implementation of a safety
culture policy statement, enhanced our focus on openness and
transparency, and enhanced awareness of and worked to resolve
some of the most long-standing generic issues facing the
nuclear industry, including sump strainer issues and fire
protection. Beyond the power reactor work, substantial
progress was made in establishing a more transparent and
effective oversight program for fuel cycle facilities. In
addition, radioactive sources of concern are now fully
protected with our new security
regulations and source tracking system. We stand as a
stronger and more decisive regulator now because of these
years of efforts. I am truly humbled by the agency's
Serving the American people as the Chairman of the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been an honor and
privilege. The mission of this agency - protecting people and
the environment, and providing for the common defense and
security - could not be more clear, or more critical. Our
collective focus on that mission was, I believe, one of the
primary reasons the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was one of
the best places to work in the federal
government throughout my tenure. The highly talented and
dedicated professional staff,
including dozens who have served on my personal staff over
the years, have been instrumental in
fulfilling the agency's mission.
I will always be grateful for the opportunity of having
served alongside the staff for all of these years, and for
all that we accomplished together. I am looking forward to
bringing all I
have learned from my work and focus on safety at this agency
with me as I move forward.
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