Former Reid aide to head NRC

Gregory Jaczko, a former aide to Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who has expressed doubts about storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, was named chairman of the federal nuclear safety agency. Jaczko, 38, assumes responsibility for administrative actions and long range planning and would be the NRC ultimate authority for quick decisions that might be necessary in the event of a nuclear emergency.

Jackzo (pronounced Yatz-ko) served as science adviser to Sen .Harry Reid, D-Nev., and managed the Nevadan's opposition to the Yucca project before he was appointed to the NRC in 2005 at Reid's urging. Jaczko's is presently the only Democratic appointee on the NRC panel. Three others, including present chairman Dale Klein, were Republican appointees. There is one vacancy on the five-member commission.

A native of upstate New York, Jaczko earned a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a doctorate in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.