Comprehensive Plan of Action Item #1
Close Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant
The State has negotiated and entered into an agreement with Exelon Corporation to cease electric generation operations at the Oyster Creek Generating Station within nine years.
Shutdown of the plant is the best technology available to ensure that Oyster Creek withdrawals from Barnegat Bay for cooling purposes and discharges from the plant do not damage the ecological health of the Bay. The plant closure agreement establishes a definite timeframe in which use of the Bay for cooling water will cease. Closure of the plant will have a significantly more beneficial environmental impact than requiring the installation of cooling towers, which, under the best case scenario, would take seven or more years to be installed and, unlike plant closure, would result in significantly greater continued water withdrawals and discharges.
In order to ensure that the Oyster Creek plant closes on time and operates safely during its remaining life, the DEP:
- Entered into an Administrative Consent Order with Exelon On December 9, 2010 to close the plant by December 31, 2019.
- Provided for specific activities and milestones that Exelon will undertake and meet to guarantee plant closure.
- Provided for stipulated penalties of twice the amount of any profits gained from continued operation of the plant to remove any economic incentive to exceed the closure date.
- Established an Oyster Creek Safety Review Panel on May 6, 2011 to supplement ongoing DEP safety inspections and oversight at the plant. The panel consists of a nuclear plant safety expert from DEP, an independent consultant expert in nuclear plant safety, and a homeland security expert. The panel will review plant operations, issue safety reports, and hold annual public hearings.
For more information, contact: Paul Baldauf, Acting Director, Environmental Regulation, 609-984-5636.