Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who opposes shutting down Indian Point, joined me this afternoon for a CapTon interview that will air this evening.

I brought up the MSNBC report that deemed one of the three reactors at the Hudson River nuclear power plant 24 miles from NYC (or 34 miles from Midtown, depending on how you’re measuring), the most at risk in the nation of earthquake damage.

Astorino cautioned against believing the outlet’s numbers and directed me to the NRC’s blog, where the commission’s spokesman Eliot Brenner penned a post entitled “Don’t Believe Everything You Read.”

“Let’s be clear: The NRC does not rank nuclear power plants according to their vulnerability to earthquakes,” Brenner wrote.

“This ‘ranking” was developed by the MSNBC.com reporter using partial information and we believe an even more partial understanding of how we evaluate plants for seismic risk. Each plant is evaluated individually according to the geology of its site, not by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model – therefore such rankings or comparisons are highly misleading.”

“…Over the last few years, the NRC has reassessed nuclear plants in the central and eastern United States for their vulnerability to earthquakes, using new seismic data developed by geologists.”

“The study’s preliminary work has shown that some plants might have stronger ground motions than originally thought, although still within the plants’ safety margins. These plants will do more research once more detailed analytical models are available later this year.”

“This is a complex issue that does not always lend itself to simple yes and no answers. Bottom line: the NRC does not rank plants on seismic risk. Plants in this country continue to operate safely and securely.”

As you’ll recall, AG Eric Schneiderman is continuing the effort of his predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, to prevent the relicensing of Indian Point’s two functioning reactors. The AG wants the NRC to consider seismic risk when considering whether to grant the plant’s request to operate for another 20 years after its 40-year licenses expired in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

In case you’re curious, Astorino was in town to lobby state lawmakers on more education aid for Yonkers along with the city’s mayor, Phil Amicone, (a fellow Republican).

The duo met with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Sen. Jeff Klein, head of the IDC. The city is slated to lose $20 million worth of funding in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget and another $15 million worth of VLT cash in the Senate budget.

UPDATE: MSNBC.com’s Bill Dedman e-mailed a response, which appears after the jump.

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