A Great Big City

What is the closest nuclear power plant to NYC?

Locations of nuclear power stations closest to NYC

With the recent earthquake and tsunami doing unprecedented damage to Japanese nuclear reactors, it makes sense to take a look at what potential threat the New York area would encounter in a similar situation.

Update: Cuomo Orders Safety Review Of Indian Point Nuclear Plant after the NRC reports that Indian Point is at the highest risk of core damage from an earthquake.

The closest nuclear reactor to New York City is Indian Point Energy Center in upstate NY, which is 24 miles north and sets along the Hudson River. Given the events of 9/11 and a recently discovered seismic zone near the facility, Indian Point has demonstrated that it can withstand the impact of a large airliner and is built to withstand an earthquake of 6.1, which is a precaution mandated by the NRC to ensure reactors can sustain the maximum potential earthquake at the reactor’s location.

There is certainly a huge difference between the environment and circumstances which would cause a disaster in the Northeast U.S. compared to what has been unfolding in Japan, but it is hard not to recognize the impact that reactor problems would cause for the millions of people living in the area. At the time of writing, the evacuation zone for Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant has expanded to 30Km (18.6mi), which, if translated to the New York / Indian Point area, would reach into Westchester, White Plains, and Yonkers and cause unimaginable consequences by displacing thousands and causing panic in hundreds of thousands more.

Please consider making a donation to Japanese tsunami recovery efforts

Learn More

Cuomo Orders Safety Review Of Indian Point Nuclear Plant

Indian Point is New York’s Nuclear Question Mark

Read the NRC’s documents for Indian Point generator #2 and #3

An 8.9 Quake Could Have Irradiated the Entire US

The CDC’s guides to being prepared and knowing what to do during a radiation emergency

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