The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey, the oldest operating nuclear plant in the U.S., was shut down this week on September 17th. Workers marked the closure with a ceremony at the plant, as 400 current employees and former workers watched via livestream as operators took the plant offline.
Oyster Creek, a 625-MW single-reactor plant on the Jersey Shore about 60 miles east of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, entered commercial operation December 1, 1969. Although the plant received a 20-year operating license extension in 2009 Exelon decided to close the plant after state officials said the they needed to install expensive cooling tower technology.
Oyster Creek has been a major financial contributor to the area paying more than $2.3 million in property taxes each year and employing hundreds of people with around $68 million a year in salaries.
Exelon has reached an agreement to sell Oyster Creek, its property and a $1 billion decommissioning trust fund to Holtec International. Once the sale has both federal and state approval, Holtec will take over the process of decommissioning the plant.