FORKED RIVER, N.J. - Operators at Oyster Creek Generating Station returned the plant to the electrical grid early this morning, after taking the generator off line Saturday as a precaution in preparing for Hurricane Irene.
Operators began a controlled shut-down of the reactor at 8 a.m. Saturday due to the expected hurricane force winds from Hurricane Irene. The generator stopped producing electricity at a little after 5 p.m. on Saturday evening.
By procedure, Oyster Creek is required to shut down if sustained winds reach a certain level during a hurricane. Although it wasn't certain if the winds would reach their threshold, operators proactively, deliberately and slowly shut the plant down in anticipation of the storm's arrival to ensure the plant was in a safe condition.
Personnel made inspections of the site throughout and after the storm had passed and determined that Oyster Creek was not impacted by the storm. Exelon staff then informed state and federal emergency management officials who concurred the plant was ready to restart.
"The challenges presented to Oyster Creek by Hurricane Irene this weekend were successfully met. Not only is Oyster Creek designed and maintained to withstand all that this hurricane dished out, but our highly skilled personnel were prepared and ready to protect the plant and the public," said Site Vice President Michael Massaro.
Oyster Creek is about 60 miles east of Philadelphia in Ocean County, New Jersey. The plant produces 636 net megawatts of electricity at full power, enough electricity to supply 600,000 typical homes, the equivalent to all homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined. In addition, plant workers, through their payrolls, are responsible for more $96 million injected directly into New Jersey's economy.