The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey, the oldest working nuclear plant within the U.S., goes offline September 17. Workers are marking the closure with a ceremony on the plant at present.
Oyster Creek went on-line December 1, 1969. The Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station went on-line that very same day close to Oswego, New York, however Oyster Creek’s working license was granted first. Nine Mile Point stays in operation; after at present’s closure of Oyster Creek, there are 98 reactors in industrial operation at 60 nuclear energy vegetation throughout the nation, although a number of others are slated to close down over the following few years as nuclear vegetation wrestle to stay financially viable in an period of low energy costs.
Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in July mentioned radioactive materials is more likely to stay on the Oyster Creek website till at the least the late 2070s, and maybe past. NRC officers have mentioned Chicago, Illinois-based Exelon, which owns the 650-MW single-reactor plant on the Jersey Shore about 60 miles east of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Orange County, has moved nuclear gas rods into dry-storage models, or casks, that are metal containers encased in concrete. The casks are designed to retailer nuclear materials whereas its radioactivity decreases over time. More gas rods can be moved into casks over the following few years, with all of the remaining nuclear gas rods taken from storage swimming pools and positioned into dry storage by mid-year 2024.
The NRC has mentioned it can value about $1.four billion to close down the plant. Oyster Creek can be in a “secure retailer” situation till 2075, with dismantling of the plant set for a interval between 2075 and 2078, though Exelon has mentioned the timeline might be condensed as the corporate strikes forward with decommissioning. The firm has a top level view of the decommissioning course of on its web site.
Oyster Creek in 2009 acquired a 20-year working license extension, to 2029, from the NRC, however a 12 months later mentioned it could shut the plant early as a part of a cope with New Jersey regulators after state officers mentioned the plant wanted to put in costly cooling tower expertise required by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Exelon started reducing jobs on the plant earlier this 12 months in anticipation of the closure. The firm in February mentioned a shutdown this 12 months would “give Oyster Creek staff a greater alternative to pursue open positions throughout the Exelon household of firms. The determination can even assist Exelon higher handle assets as gas and upkeep prices proceed to rise amid traditionally low energy costs.”
A May report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) mentioned continued low costs for pure gasoline, the expansion of renewable vitality assets, and diminishing demand for electrical energy have made nuclear energy much less aggressive within the energy market. The EIA report mentioned one other 9 vegetation are scheduled to shut by 2025, with extra closure bulletins anticipated.
POWER journal in its February 2018 situation printed an interactive map displaying a sampling of deserted nuclear reactor building initiatives throughout the U.S. over the previous a number of many years, highlighting the problem of growing new U.S. nuclear initiatives. Only one new nuclear reactor venture is at the moment underway: Units three and four on the Vogtle plant in Georgia are below building, although the venture has been beset by building delays and value overruns. A current lawsuit additionally threatens the venture.
—Darrell Proctor is a POWER affiliate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).
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