Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator
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Greg Jaczko never planned things to turn out this way. A Birkenstocks-wearing physics PhD, he had never heard of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when he came to Washington and—thanks to the determination of a powerful senator—found himself at the agency’s head. He felt like Dorothy invited behind the curtain at Oz.
The problem was that Jaczko wasn’t the kind of leader the NRC had seen before: he had no ties to the nuclear industry, few connections in Washington, and no agenda other than to ensure that nuclear technology was deployed safely. And so he witnessed what outsiders like him were never meant to see, including an agency overpowered by the industry it was meant to regulate and a political system determined to keep it that way. After the shocking nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan, and the American nuclear industry’s refusal to make the changes necessary to prevent a catastrophe like that from happening here, Jaczko started saying something aloud that no one else had dared: nuclear power has fatal flaws.
Written in a tone that’s equal parts self-deprecating, puzzled, and passionate, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator tells the story of a man who got pushed from his high perch for fighting to keep Americans safe. Never before has the chairman of the world’s foremost nuclear regulatory agency challenged the nuclear industry to expose how these companies put us at risk. Because if we (and they) don’t act now, there will be another Fukushima. Only this time, it could happen here.