Closure date of Oyster Creek brought forward

02 February 2018

Exelon Generation announced today that it has decided to retire its Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey this October. The company had previously agreed with the state to shut the single-reactor plant by the end of 2019.

Oyster Creek - 460 (Exelon Generation)
Oyster Creek (Image: Exelon)

In January 2010, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) revised rules on water use such that once-through cooling is no longer allowed for large industrial facilities like power plants. To protect river life, Oyster Creek - as well as several other coal and nuclear power plants in the state - would have to build cooling towers and their associated piping and pumping apparatus as the 'best available technology'. Exelon estimated it would cost over $800 million to construct cooling towers at Oyster Creek.

After an 11-month negotiation and consultation with NJDEP, Exelon reached an agreement that the state would not require cooling towers and the company would close the plant in 2019. This is despite Exelon receiving regulatory approval to operate the 610 MWe boiling water reactor until 2029.

Exelon announced today that Oyster Creek - which was completed in December 1969 - will now shut in October.

"Oyster Creek's approximately 500 highly trained employees will continue to operate the plant at world-class levels until October 2018," the company said. "Some will stay on to safely and securely decommission the facility after it is shut down."

"This shutdown timeline will give Oyster Creek employees a better opportunity to pursue open positions across the Exelon family of companies," Exelon said. "The decision will also help Exelon better manage resources as fuel and maintenance costs continue to rise amid historically low power prices."

The company said it will work with local officials, state agencies, elected representatives and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to plan for the long-term decommissioning of the plant.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News