Many people reacted the same way as Williams did regarding the bias of some of the local reportage:
"The q-and-a was more like a public haranguing. It was so much fun to see these people in suits–used to having their own way and making potentially life-destroying decisions with impunity–pathetically lost for words as they tried to defend the indefensible against extremely knowledgeable members of the local community, local politicians, community groups and environmental NGOs."
Actually, it was more than several dozens of people who spoke against.
"In an effort to be “fair and balanced,” the mainstream news media that put up video of the hearing included three pro-Indian Point speakers and three against. This does a serious disservice to the evening because the three pro-nuke speakers were the only three of the whole evening, whereas dozens of people spoke against."
It's as Williams says, it's kinda what real democracy would look like —
but unfortunately, nobody takes official notes of what the audience has to say at these kinds of meetings and the commissioners would prefer to get on with it and not have to respond to any comments at all. The hearing was a dog-and-pony show gone off course, but a dog-and-pony show nevertheless.
"The meeting went on for more than two-and-a-half hours, with person after person coming up to the microphone and making statements or asking questions. People actually got to experience what real democracy and community participation would look like in decisions that affect them."
It is good that we now have a video record of the NRC people getting into hot water (no pun intended) at several points during the Q and A:
With enough of these kinds of displays of agency dissimulation and public outrage, popular support for nuclear power is bound to shift.
"NRC operatives were roundly booed when they said they couldn’t meet with local elected officials, but could only “look into it” and take it “under advisement.” They couldn’t even produce a list of their own safety exemptions (in the hundreds at this point). And the officials stirred up further outrage when they didn’t even know how much radioactivity was stored in their spent fuel pools (far in excess of the number stored in all the reactors at Fukushima).
"At that point, one of the plant managers told the crowd that it was difficult to know because the plant had been in operation for so many years. Attendees responded with cries of 'Exactly!' and 'That’s why it needs to be shut down!'”
For much more background, particularly on the fire protection exeptions, read Harvey Wasserman's latest essay in Counterpunch: "The Nuclear Bandits."
"Fire protection? We ain't got no fire protection. We don't need any fire protection. We don't have to show you no stinking fire protection."