NJ Nuke Plant Back Online After Maintenance

Saturday, Dec 21, 2013  |  Updated 1:25 PM EDT
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NJ Nuke Plant Back Online

Oyster Creek is located about 60 miles east of Philadelphia.

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The nation's oldest operating nuclear plant has returned to service after crews completed some maintenance work on a system that regulates pressure to the steam turbines.

Officials at the Oyster Creek plant in Lacey Township say its reactor resumed full-power operations at 8:04 a.m. Friday.

The plant had been shut down in the early morning hours of Dec. 14, so crews could look into and make repairs to the system and perform additional unspecified maintenance work. The projects could not be done while the plant was generating electricity.

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

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The plant went online Dec. 1, 1969, the same day as the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station near Oswego, N.Y. But Oyster Creek's original license was granted first, making it the oldest of the nation's 104 commercial nuclear reactors that are still operating. 

Oyster Creek is due to shut down by the end of 2019 instead of 2029 as called for in its current license. The plant agreed to the early shutdown in return for not being required to build costly cooling towers that would minimize the impact on fish and other marine life in the creek.

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