WASHINGTON - Gregory Jaczko, who said this week he is resigning as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is not packing his bags just yet.
Jaczko said Wednesday he is prepared to remain on the job until his term expires next summer if a replacement is not named by then. Announcing his resignation on Monday, he said he would serve "until my successor is confirmed."
The White House said it plans to select a new chairman "soon" but it is expected to be months before a new leader is nominated and Senate-confirmed.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., a key Jazcko supporter, said Tuesday that the embattled chairman could be at the agency for the duration of his term that expires June 30, 2013.
"And if something doesn't work out, he can always be renominated," Reid said.
Jaczko repeated Wednesday his resignation was tied to a successor "so I will continue to stay here and do my job until that happens."
He declined to rule out the idea he could be renominated, an action akin to the president rejecting his resignation.
"Right now I intend to continue to serve out my term," Jaczko said. "If by that time a successor has not been found I will deal with those issues at that time."
Jaczko, 41, made the remarks at a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., after delivering an industry speech. They were his first public comments since he said he was leaving the NRC, where his three-year tenure as chairman has been increasingly turbulent, marked by policy and personal disputes with other commissioners and agency staff.
Jaczko said his announced departure "had nothing to do" with the pending release of an NRC inspector general's report on the management of the agency.
Jaczko, an upstate New York native with a doctorate in physics, said he has not been involved in choosing a successor, and did not know what he might do after leaving the NRC.
Since the timing of his departure is unclear, "I am not at all pursuing any outside activities at this point."
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.