Region I Administrator Bill Dean told those who attended the NRC’s May 14th event that it’s not NRC policy to provide transcriptions of its public meetings. Dean said they have to “think about cost of things like transcription services, and is that the right use of our, you know, tax dollars.”
This particularly disingenuous policy of the NRC not to provide transcriptions brought protests from from the audience. Obviously, they felt it’s a significantly important use of taxpayer dollars to provide transcripts of these meetings that only a handful of people can actually attend.
Unlike the NRC, I do not have to worry about taxpayer dollars, so I took the better part of a week to make a transcription. Such a thing was only possible because activist Don Debar announced he was making an audio recording of the entire meeting, intending to air it on his online radio show at CPRmetro.org.
DeBar’s opening remarks and segments of related interviews and commentary are
available at livestream/4szCS (it loads more slowly; the meeting itself begins at 15:27).
Transcript here (includes editorial remarks, names of speakers
where possible, and links to various documents cited).
Dean’s pandering and dissembling only contribute to the fundamental distrust many people in the 10-mile radius already have of the NRC, with its problematical regulatory record. Here’s part of Dean’s opening remarks:
“I know a number of you have indicated that we would really like to have these meetings transcribed, recorded somehow. And the NRC does do that for meetings that are decision-making meetings, meetings that are held that are—, that have a legal or a regulatory aspect to them where there’ll be a decision made. This is not a decision-making meeting, this is not a meeting that’ll be part of the license renewal hearings on Indian Point, or anything like that. This is just an opportunity for us to have dialogue and information exchange with you all. So, we all will be taking notes. I’ll note, for example, that Mary Woolen from the Chairman’s office is here [Chairman’s Policy Advisor for External Engagement]. The Chairman, as many of you may know, was up here in February and met with a number of the stakeholder groups while she was here. Mary is here to listen to the feedback and the comments that we get and so will be conveying to the Chairman the things that she hears here tonight, as well as the NRC staff.
“You know, this nation is founded on a lot of great principles, and one of them that I think is really important is the fact that diversity is important in this country. This is a very diverse nation. People came to this country from many, many different parts of the world and have made this the strongest nation in the world, and diversity is part of that. That includes diversity of views, and I know there are people here in this audience that have different views about Indian Point and nuclear power. And you are going to have an opportunity to share those views with us here tonight. But I do ask, though, is that when people come up to share their views that we treat their legal right to have a view and have an opinion and express that opinion with respect no matter what side of the subject matter they might be on. Whether they’re for or against, please treat members with respect.”
When the NRC can’t find a way to provide a transcript for people who can’t attend its public meetings, they show a profound disrespect not only for taxpayers, but for anyone who spends time in the lower Hudson Valley.