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Proposal to extend Indian Point evacuation plan

April 5, 2011 3:19:33 PM PDT
In the aftermath of the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan, some legislators in Westchester county want plans drawn up for a bigger evacuation zone around Indian Point if something should go wrong.

They want to draw up plans for a 50 mile evacuation which would include New York City, Long Island and parts of New Jersey.

Current plans cover a ten mile area.

They're sounding the alarm figuratively in the event these sirens literally go off during an emergency.

Current federal guidelines require evacuation plans for a 10-mile radius around nuclear reactors. At Indian Point that area includes four counties in New York and a population of 480,000.

Expanding the zone to 50-miles would encompass parts of four states and 20 million people.

Lawmakers say they find it odd Americans in Japan were warned to move 50 miles from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant by the same U.S. regulators who set the 10 mile limit here.

In a statement the NRC claims a federal task force concluded a 10-mile-radius emergency planning zone would assure that "prompt and effective actions can be taken to protect the public in the event of an accident" at a plant.

The NRC says the area could always be expanded if warranted. An Indian Point spokesman says the proposed legislation is politically motivated.

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