Japan-Style Nuclear Meltdown Could Happen Here, Activists Say

By Mathew Katz on September 30, 2011 11:52am 

The Indian Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson River, 35 miles from New York City.
The Indian Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson River, 35 miles from New York City.
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Mario Tama/Getty Images

HELL'S KITCHEN — Anti-nuclear advocates want New Yorkers to know that a meltdown like the one that happened in Japan could happen here.

Highlighting the meltdown crisis that happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March this year, the Coalition Against Nukes will be holding a rally against nuclear power on Saturday at Hudson River Park's Pier 95.

Activists say that among their biggest concerns are the nuclear reactors at Indian Point, just north of the city. Downtown residents expressed concern about the dangers posed by the plant earlier this year.

The reactors are surrounded by one of the most densely populated areas in the country, with roughly 20 million people living within 50 miles of it.

“Consider the economic consequences of a meltdown at Indian Point from an earthquake. New York, the world’s financial capital, could be rendered virtually uninhabitable,” said Dr. Helen Caldicott, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility who will be a keynote speaker at the rally.

The coalition said that New York is not as far away from a disaster like the one in Japan as people might think — last month, Hurricane Irene shut down power and transportation routes throughout the northeast. August's earthquake also showed that the city is not immune to fault lines.

The rally, which is being held in conjunction with a dozen others across the country, will also feature environmentalists, watchdogs, and journalists from the New York and D.C. areas.

The rally kicks off Saturday at 12 p.m. at Pier 95, which is at 55th Street and the West Side Highway.

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