Southern NJ nuclear plant goes offline again

    A southern New Jersey nuclear power plant has been taken offline for the third time in two weeks so crews can clear vegetation that’s blocking cooling water intakes.

    Today’s Sunbeam of Salem reports that the Salem I reactor was taken offline just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and it wasn’t known when it would go back online. It was previously taken offline on April 21 and 24.

    Officials blame the shutdowns on “grassing,” which is a problem caused by vegetation, weeds and grasses that grow along the Delaware River and its tributaries. The vegetation becomes dislodged and floats downstream, and can become especially troublesome in the spring.

    The reactor is one of three at the Salem/Hope Creek site in Lower Alloways Creek Township in Salem County.

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