In a hearing that started out delving more into Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety plans than commissioner personalities as the House did the day before (see story on page 9), the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Dec. 15 descended into personal attacks on commission chair Greg Jaczko\u2019s leadership. Committee chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) repeatedly implored her colleagues to refrain from verbal assaults and focus on the efficacy of the regulatory commission providing the safest nuclear plants possible. \u201cThe future of nuclear power is at stake. When I look at my own state and the angst of the people, they\u2019ll take matters into their own hands and say they\u2019re done with the plants,\u201d Boxer said. She evoked the pending state initiative that would shut down both Diablo Canyon and San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station. Yet, questions over process and personalities led the day. \u201cWe see things that are happening that are wrong,\u201d said William Ostendorff, commissioner. He noted that he visited both California nuclear plants in October and inferred he is comfortable with their oversight. The safety policy measures discussed in committee were the post-Fukushima Daiichi meltdown measures to be taken in the U.S. The debate centered on whether the four opposition commissioners were attempting to slow down implementing safety measures from lessons learned from the meltdowns. With hints that the commission may be paying significant attention to industry to delay new changes to nuclear plants, Boxer said, \u201cHow fast are we going to move on public safety? This is life and death stuff.\u201d Several Democrats noted the four commissioners were \u201cslow walking\u201d new safety requirements. Implementing the 90-day Japan Task Force recommendations to shore up American nuclear plants is already one month late, according to Boxer. Jaczko, who voted to hurry up the process in opposition to the other commissioners, said he \u201cfelt a responsibility\u201d to support the staff\u2019s Task Force recommendations to speed up changes. Republican senators repeatedly brought up allegations of Jaczko\u2019s inability to lead because he has a temper and intimidates staff. Jaczko did not accept the accusations, but said he works on his people skills. The Senate and House committee hearings followed an unusual letter from four commissioners to the White House complaining about their chair\u2019s methods of leadership.