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Top priority in US earthquake study: nuclear power plant near New York City

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls the Indian Point nuclear power plant near New York City a 'catastrophe waiting to happen.' Federal nuclear power regulators promise to make Indian Point, which sits near a fault, a top priority in their review of seismic hazards.

Indian Point nuclear power plant stands on the edge of the Hudson River near the Ramapo Fault in Buchanan, N.Y.

John Angelillo/UPI/Newscom

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To New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the nuclear crisis in Japan is a warning bell for his own state.

Governor Cuomo has long been opposed to the Indian Point nuclear power plant, located on the Hudson River about 40 miles from New York City, calling it a “catastrophe waiting to happen.”

Now, in light of the Japanese situation and with evidence of a previously unknown fault line running near the plant, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has agreed to make Indian Point one of its first priorities in an ongoing study of seismic risk.

On Tuesday, a contingent of New York state officials met with the NRC to express Cuomo’s concerns, especially with regard to the potential for an earthquake to damage the facility.

“When the data comes back in we want to make sure Indian Point is at or near the top of the list when we start looking at the data,” says Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC in King of Prussia, Pa., the regional center responsible for New York.

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