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UPDATE: Power Restored at Oyster Creek

Oyster Creek terminates alert status, resumes operations

Power has been restored to Oyster Creek Generating Station after a loss due to Hurricane Sandy.

Once electrical service was lost, the nuclear power plant utilized backup generators to power water pumps that cool the fuel stored in the nuclear reactor, a statement from the state Department of Environmental Protection said.

Oyster Creek Generating Station terminated its “alert” status early this morning after the intake water level returned to normal.

The “alert” was terminated at 3:53 a.m. today and normal operations resumed less than 36 hours after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Jersey Shore, a statement from Oyster Creek said.

On Monday night, the plant suffered power outages, declared an “alert’’ due to rising water levels and lost a portion of its warning alarm system. 

“Station employees responded quickly and appropriately to the storm’s challenges and all plant safety systems, including used fuel cooling, operated as designed,” the statement said.

Additional workers will be returning to Oyster Creek today to resume a refueling and maintenance outage that began on Monday, Oct. 22 and was temporarily delayed by Hurricane Sandy.

Oyster Creek operators declared the alert Monday night as Sandy’s wind and rains generated tides 6.8 feet above mean sea level at the plant’s intake canal.

As of 12:30 p.m., water was measured at 3 feet and declining at the intake canal.

“Water levels were never high enough to top the intake canal banks or impact operation on plant equipment,” the news release said.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in a statement, noted that Oyster Creek remains in “safe condition,’’ with agency inspectors on site.

The DEP and the federal NRC continue to carefully monitor the impacts Hurricane Sandy had on operations at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant.

An "alert" is the second lowest of four emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  the lowest classification, as the water levels at the intake structure began to rise.

Oyster Creek is the oldest operating nuclear plant in the country and provides enough around-the-clock electricity for 600,000 New Jersey homes and began commercial operations in 1969.


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