U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Chief Resigns

Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said o n Monday he would resign, after a year of intense criticism of his abrasive management tactics.

"After an incredibly productive three years as chairman, I have decided this is the appropriate time to continue my efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum," Jaczko said in a statement.

The agency is implementing an extensive overhaul of safety rules for U.S. nuclear plants in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.

Jaczko, who has spent almost eight years on the commission, had sought to move quickly on the new rules, clashing with the four other commissioners who lead the agency and who favored a more cautious approach.

But in a series of reports and congressional hearings, an unflattering picture of Jaczko's management style emerged. He was described by colleagues and staff as a bully who had reduced some senior female employees to tears.

Jaczko has steadfastly defended himself and denied the accusations.

A report on Jaczko from the agency's inspector general, an internal watchdog, is expected to be released imminently.