Oyster Creek temporarily shut down

    Google image.

    Google image.

    The nation’s oldest operating nuclear plant was temporarily shut down late yesterday morning due to a fault in the turbine control system.

    But officials with Oyster Creek Generating Station in the Forked River section of Lacey say it didn’t impact the electrical service it provides, according to a release from Exelon Corporation, the plant’s operator. 

    Operators shut down the plant without incident at 11 a.m. Tuesday to make repairs. 

    The turbine control system is located on the plant’s non-nuclear side and monitors turbine speed, temperature, and pressure. A similar problem triggered an automatic shut down of the plant in late November. 

    The plant was returned to operation at 85 percent after the four-day outage, and technicians continued to address the turbine control system. 

    Oyster Creek is located about 60 miles east of Philadelphia. Built in 1969, it generates enough electricity to power 600,000 homes, or roughly all the homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined.

    The plant reached an agreement with the state to close the plant by 2019 despite holding a federal license to operate through 2029.

    But decomissioning work will continue after the plant goes offline as fuel from the site cannot be moved to dry storage for at least 10 years, according to a Oyster Creek FAQ published by the state. 

    The operator agreed to shut down the plant in return for not being required to build costly cooling towers requested by the state Department of Environmental Protection that would minimize the impact on fish and other marine life in the creek.

    The Oyster Creek closure is on the state’s 10-point Barnegat Bay action plan

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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