BUCHANAN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered a complete safety review of Westchester County's Indian Point nuclear plant after startling new information was revealed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The NRC reportedly ranked Indian Point as the reactor with the highest risk of earthquake damage in the United States, even higher than the twin reactors in California's quake zone, reports CBS 2's Marcia Kramer.
"The Indian Point power plant is the most susceptible to earthquake because reactor number three is on a fault," Gov. Cuomo said. "Frankly, that was surprising to me. One normally doesn't think of earthquakes and New York in the same breath."
Experts say Indian Point is about one mile from the intersection of two faults, and that has the governor concerned.
The plant is just 24 miles from New York City, and according to the NRC, it's the plant with the highest possibility of earthquake damage.
Cuomo wasted no time in ordering an immediate safety review.
"I've had concern about Indian Point for a long time. As attorney general, I did a lot of work on Indian Point," he said. "My position was that it shouldn't be relicensed. My position was that it should be closed. I understand the power and the benefit; I also understand the risk, and this plant – in this proximity to New York City – was never a good risk."
The folks who run Indian Point, however, say they're not worried about a Japan-like meltdown there.
"I say only if a tsunami could make its way…up New York Harbor and the Hudson River, somehow avoid New York City, and drench our plant," Jim Streets, director of communications at Entergy Nuclear Northeast, said. "It just doesn't seem very realistic to me."
Indian Point's licenses are up for review in 2013 and 2015. Cuomo's involvement in the case, and the findings of his safety review, could have an effect on those licenses.
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