Oyster Creek Nuke Plant at Full Power After Two-Day Shutdown

Jul 12, 2017

The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is back at full power after being forced offline last week due to a degraded condenser vacuum. Operators manually shut down the Lacey Township-based plant July 3, and reconnected to the power grid two days later, on July 5.

It reached full power at 10:30 a.m., on July 6, said Suzanne D’Ambrosio, plant spokeswoman. The shutdown did not have an impact on electrical service to customers, she said.

The condenser cools down and condenses water steam that is generated by the reactor after it passes through a turbine to spin it and produce electricity, and operates under vacuum conditions to maximize efficiency.

Oyster Creek, owned and operated by Illinois-based Exelon Corp., produces 636 net megawatts of electricity at full power, enough electricity to supply 600,000 typical homes, the equivalent to all homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined.

The base-load nuclear generating station is a single unit boiling water reactor, located on 800 acres on neighboring Oyster Creek. It first came online in December 1969. It is licensed to operate through April 9, 2029, but is slated to come offline permanently on Dec. 31, 2019.

Oyster Creek is one of four nuclear power plants licensed to operate in New Jersey. Salem Nuclear Power Plant has two units, and the fourth unit is at Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station. —G.G.S.

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