On April , 2011, senior scientist Thomas Cochran presented to a joint hearing of two Senate environmental safety committees what the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) considers to be the implications of the Fukushima catastrophe.
The text of that report can be read in full at this quickview. NRDC download at this link.
The radius for evacuation set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 10 miles.
One of Cochran's associates calculated the numbers of people within 50 mi, 30 km, 20 km, and 10 mi of the 104 nuclear plants at 64 US sites and at Fukushima and presented them in a table on p.15 of the report.
The figures show that a large number of US plants exceed the population figures of the Fukushima plant at the four distances. For example: at 30 of the 64 US sites, the population within 20 km exceeds 69,000 people, the population within 20 km of Fukushima.
I've extracted the estimates for Indian Point below:
Issues dealt with in the report include: reassessing the frequency of partial core melt accidents (p.2), a list of implications (p.5), the best process for addressing concerns (p.5), the old GE BWR's with poorly designed Mark 1 and 2 containments (p.6), improvements to extend time due to loss of power (p.7), delaying spent fuel being moved to casks (p.8), evacuation (p.8), major environmental catastrophes, financial risk, and monitoring (p.10), and principal conclusions (p. 11).
Also notable for those of us living close to Indian Point are these statements:
"In the interim the NRC maintains all of its licensed reactors are safe. This review is appropriate and we support this effort, but it is woefully inadequate to the larger task of ensuring nuclear safety given the grave concerns raised by the accident. Any review must be an open, transparent process that permits public participation and that creates public trust. It is not credible to expect the NRC staff to perform an unbiased review of its own past failings. An independent review by an unbiased committee is essential. We are under no illusions that the NRC review will lead to adoption of all the safety improvements that are needed."
" . . . shortly after the Fukushima accident began to unfold the NRC was so concerned regarding how the accident might progress that it recommended that U.S. citizens stay at least 50 miles away . . . "
"Indian Point Unit-2’s license expires on 28 September 2013, and Unit 3’s license expires on 12 December 2015. Entergy has applied for a 20 year license renewal for the two reactors. One might reasonably find it startling were the NRC to renew these licenses given what we now know. What is more surprising though is that the NRC is already on record saying the events at Fukushima will not affect ongoing license extension reviews! "
"In light of an improved scientific understanding of the full range of natural and man-made "beyond design basis" events that could strike 40+ year reactors, the risk of core melt followed by failure of containment should be stringently reevaluated for the two Indian Point units and all other existing reactors located in areas of high population density. The feasibility of an adequately protective evacuation, under these revised conditions and extending beyond the current 10-mile radius for the emergency planning zone, should be explicitly reassessed in the context of the relicensing proceeding. The severity of the resulting radiological and other risks to life, property, and natural resources should inform NRC and state-level decisions regarding which units should be denied license or permit renewals, or have their existing license extensions shortened or revoked. "