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Oyster Creek nuclear power station to close ahead of schedule

Nuclear plant to close ahead of schedule, Washington Examiner,  by John Siciliano |     One of the oldest nuclear power plants in the country will be shutting down more than a year ahead of schedule.

Exelon, the largest nuclear utility in the country, said Friday that it would shut down the Oyster Creek power station in New Jersey in October, more than a year ahead of schedule.

The power plant decided to close early, even though it is licensed by the federal government to provide electricity through 2029. The early closure stems from costly regulations in New Jersey requiring it to install new cooling towers.

Exelon entered into an agreement with the state’s environmental regulators in 2010 to phase out the plant’s operations, after it decided that it could not justify the cost of meeting the new water cooling rules. It instead agreed to a planned phaseout in which it would close the plant in December 2019.

But on Friday, things changed, and now the company wants to close the plant more than a year earlier than under the agreement with the state. It explained that the shutdown decision was made to help employees in finding new employment, while dealing with higher maintenance cost and lower prices for electricity……….

Environmentalists and other staunch opponents of nuclear power plants welcomed the decision, pointing out that the Oyster Creek plant is the same design as the one that experienced multiple reactor core meltdowns and explosions during the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

The Oyster Creek plant is the “first and the oldest Fukushima-design nuclear reactor in the world,” a General Electric model called the Mark I, said the anti-nuclear energy group Beyond Nuclear in reacting to Exelon’s new closure timeline.

“It’s clear that Oyster Creek and the entire, aging U.S. nuclear reactor fleet is hemorrhaging financially,” said Paul Gunter, the head of the group’s reactor oversight program. “The fact that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear industry continue to prioritize financial margins over public safety margins is a growing concern, especially at the remaining 29 Fukushima style reactors still operating in the U.S.”



February 3, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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