The New York Times has an article today that discusses the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant which is just a stones throw from New York City. Some people who live near the plant are not bothered, others are.
Some people are just plain bothered by nuclear power. Some became bothered when it was discovered that the plant is in close proximity to two fault lines. To these folks I say: This is not Japan. It was the tsunami that did the most damage to the plants, not the earthquake itself. Indian Point is also located 35 miles north of New York City along the Hudson River. It would take a tsunami that would wipe out all of New York City to damage Indian Point to the extent seen at the power plants in Japan. If that were to occur, there would likely be very few people to evacuate left. In a nut shell, the fault line types and the geology of New York and northern Japan are very different and potential scenarios are very different.
Another thing of which people may not be aware: Governmental agencies in charge of safety at nuclear power plants do regular bench top drills. In other words, they develop a hypothetical scenario and run through it. They have people throw potential curve balls at the group and come up with solutions. Afterward they assess the response and determine what they could have done better. These exercises reduce their reaction time to predictable problems and hone their problem solving skills for those that they did not anticipate. Will a real emergency run smoothly? Probably not, no emergency does. However, those involved will be prepared as much as they can.
Bottom line: Unless we want to embrace a lifestyle like the Amish, we need electricity. Until we come up with something better, we need nuclear power if we have any hope of extracting ourselves from reliance on foreign fossil fuels. Those responsible for nuclear power are doing what they can to keep it as safe as possible. So take a deep breath and hope that the big one doesn't hit.