Oyster Creek Nearly Back To Full Power After Two Unplanned Shutdowns

Additional NRC oversight will be needed in wake of recent shutdowns

Courtesy of Exelon
Courtesy of Exelon
by Patricia A. Miller

The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is operating at 99 percent of power, after two unplanned shutdowns earlier this month, a federal Nuclear Regulatory spokesman said.

"The problem that led to a loss of condenser vacuum and a shutdown last week was resolved," said Neil R. Sheehan.

But the plant on Route 9 in Lacey Township will now require additional NRC scrutiny because it had more than three unplanned shutdowns over the previous 7,000 hours of operation, he said.

"We'll have to verify the Performance Indicator data at the end of the quarter," Sheehan said. "But preliminarily, it appears this will result in a change in NRC oversight for Oyster Creek."

Plant operators manually scrammed (shut down) the plant at 3:12 a.m. on July 11 after they discovered a reduction in vacuum conditions inside the condenser.

The condenser - which cools down and condenses steam produced by the reactor after it has passed through the turbine - is operated in a vacuum condition to maximize efficiency, Sheehan has said.

Oyster Creek operators took the plant off line on July 7, due to "degradation" of  five solenoid electromatic relief valves used in the plant's cooling system.  

"We’re still reviewing the electromagnetic relief valve issue," Sheehan said today. "Any findings related to that will be documented in an upcoming inspection report."

Oyster Creek is the oldest nuclear plant in the United States. It went online on Dec. 23, 1969.


Mac July 16, 2014 at 11:41 PM
honestly, I don't have a clue - I've never had a reason or an interest to research it - however, recent trends over the past couple of decades strongly suggest that if push comes to shove, it will be the NJ residents bending over again to accommodate them - our only option is to listen to our government leadership first, our business leaders next and then try to read between the lines to locate any possible truths
Sean Conneamhe July 16, 2014 at 11:45 PM
"No Nukes, please."
grace July 17, 2014 at 08:43 AM
close it please! make it safe..turn to wind and solar come on someone elses turn to get a pretty power plant...
mike n July 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM
lol grace look what happen in china with that power plant it looks just like the one here glad we have a new plant lol u would think lacey has a lot of money from the tax from there u know they get some of it right?
Heywood July 18, 2014 at 04:25 AM
It seems like a dilemma, we need electricity yet some don't want nuclear plants, we don't really have the open space for wind or solar, environmentalists don't like gas pipelines thru the Pinelands, there's no Niagra Falls nearby, so what are we gonna do?


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