Hope Creek nuclear plant’s license extended to 2046

The Hope Creek nuclear plant in South Jersey’s Salem County can now operate until 2046. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission renewed the 1,060-megawatt plant’s license Wednesday.

A watchdog group, Unplug Salem, which is campaigning to close Hope Creek and the two nearby Salem plants, is not happy about the decision.

Norm Cohen, a group coordinator, claims the 25-year-old plant is out of date and unsafe. He says the state should move toward wind and solar energy instead of renewing nuclear licenses.

The Hope Creek reactor is the same model as the plant that melted down in Japan following the catastrophic tsunami and earthquake in the spring.

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A representative of the Public Service Enterprise Group, which operates the plant, said Wednesday it is fully committed to safety.

“As part of our continuing operations, we’re always doing preventive maintenance and doing equipment upgrades,” said spokesman Joe Delmar. “Over the past five years, we’ve invested $200 million in equipment, upgrades and enhancements to ensure the safe operation of the plant.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is in the process of making additional safety improvements nationwide following the crisis in Japan.

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