Indian Point Near New York City on List of High-Risk Nuclear Plants

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The United States requires its plants to have a 10-mile-radius evacuation plan in place, according to Melanie Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group.

"We feel it's adequate to protect the public," she said. She added that plants, including Indian Point, were safe before 9/11 and are even safer now, thanks to concrete barriers and additional security personnel.

As for natural disasters, Lyons said, "Just because it happens over there, we hope it doesn't happen over here."

She said the industry and the NRC would be looking at plants that use the same GE Boiling Water Reactor design as Fukushima, including the Pilgrim plant in Massachusetts and Dresden 2 and 3 in Illinois.

Brodsky is not reassured about the regulatory agency's scrutiny. "The NRC is to nuclear power today what the SEC was to Wall Street three years ago," he said.

The next crisis, at Indian Point or elsewhere, might not follow the pattern of Japan, Chernobyl or Three Mile Island but, he said, "It's going to come out of the blue."

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