The inspector general report released on Tuesday examined the allegations about Jaczko's behavior, finding that his actions, in some cases, hindered the agency's ability to function properly.
"Although no one interviewed said they would hesitate to bring a safety matter to the Chairman's attention, NRC senior executives and Commissioners provided specific examples of what they perceived as intimidating and bullying tactics by Chairman Jaczko so that they would be influenced to side with the Chairman's opinion despite their own judgments," the report said.
"The Chairman says that he welcomes disagreement and challenges the staff for the good of the agency. However, many of the people who personally experienced or witnessed these interactions did not perceive these exchanges in a positive manner. The impact is that some senior officials avoid interactions with the Chairman and may limit what they tell the Chairman, which is contradictory to both NRC's values and an open and collaborative work environment."
While the report found that Jaczko created a difficult working environment at the agency, the general counsel cleared the outgoing chairman on some of the more concrete charges about his leadership. The IG report also does not address whether Jaczko specifically targeted and verbally abused women — a charge that has been repeatedly made by commissioners and vehemently denied by Jaczko.
The report responds to a variety of allegations about Jaczko's leadership following the nuclear disaster in Japan last year and finds that his actions were consistent with his authority at chairman of the agency. When Jaczko assumed emergency powers after Japan's accident, he was "within the scope of his authorities" even though Fukushima had occurred at a foreign facility.
In that same vein, the IG report found that Jaczko did not violate Internal Commission Procedures when it came to withholding the findings of a staff report on the events in Japan. The NRC general counsel said that the agency's "full access requirement was met," as all commissioners were ultimately able to consider the information in that report.
In terms of controlling content, the IG report is vague, finding that the chairman's authority at the NRC has been interpreted in different ways by different chairmen.
"While a Senate committee noted the Chairman was to serve only as a conduit to pass information forward, a House Committee noted that Chairman was responsible for guiding, developing and presenting policy proposals and options to the commission," the report said. These examples account for a "lack of clarity" about the chairman's role in transmitting information to his fellow commissioners, the IG said.
The report found that Jaczko "interprets his authority broadly and, at times, attempts to control the flow of information to the Commission." If the chairman disagrees with staff views, he is not supposed to attempt to alter those views, but should instead "present the staff's recommendations as received and articulate his position separately, differing or not, to the Commission," according to an established NRC definition of the chairman's authority, the report said.