March 04, 2020

Duckworth Questions NRC Commissioner about Workforce Culture at NRC


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today pressed Kristine Svinicki, Chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), on her efforts to improve the workforce culture at NRC. Duckworth also asked Svinicki why the results of internal staff pollsthat showed that over 82% of staff believe the NRC needs to change its workforce culture—which were once publicly available appear to have been removed from the NRC’s website. NRC Commissioners David Wright, Annie Caputo and Jeff Baran also answered Duckworth’s question about efforts to improve NRC culture. Video of Duckworth’s opening statement can be found here.

“Addressing persistent workplace safety and culture issues at NRC should be a top priority for Chairwoman Svinicki,” Duckworth said. “I’ll keep working to maintain effective oversight and strengthen whistleblower protections for the hardworking men and women at NRC who speak up when they see public health and safety being put at risk.”

Earlier this Congress, Duckworth introduced legislation to protect whistleblowers who are employed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Currently, DOE and NRC whistleblowers are at risk of retaliation, even when they report critical public safety concerns, because of recent administrative law rulings that empower DOE and NRC to dismiss any whistleblower claim brought against them under the Energy Reorganization Act’s employee protection authorities. Duckworth’s DOE and NRC Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 1330) is endorsed by: Government Accountability Project (GAP), the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), Public Citizen, Acorn 8, Liberty Coalition, National Security Counselors, National Taxpayer Union, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Whistleblowers of America and the National Whistleblower Center.