Lead scientist at NRC blasts boss over nuke dump

By DINA CAPPIELLO | June 23, 2011 | 2:14 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government scientist in charge of reviewing the safety of the Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump in Nevada is accusing his bosses of letting "political pressures" and "manipulation" taint the process.

Aby Mohseni (muh-SEEN-ee), acting head of high-level waste repository safety, says in prepared testimony for a House hearing Friday that Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko (YAHTS'-koh) and other officials have allowed politics to influence the staff's scientific work.

Mohseni's comments are the most scathing to come from inside the agency. Other scientists had objected earlier to Jaczko's decisions.

Jaczko ordered Mohseni's unit to stop its review of the dump in October.

A recent inspector general's report found that Jaczko acted within his authority, but did not fully inform other commissioners of his plans.