Forked River , NJ Exelon Nuclear declared an "Unusual Event" at Oyster Creek Generating Station at 7p.m. today after water levels in the plant's intake structure reached higher than normal levels.
This is an anticipated declaration required by procedures and is the result of Hurricane Sandy's impact on the region. There is no challenge to the safety of the plant. Oyster Creek is currently shut down for planned maintenance and refueling.
Oyster Creek is a robust and fortified facility, capable of withstanding the most severe weather. When the storm was identified, operators performed a host of plant inspections to ensure that all safety systems were operational and that outside equipment and materials were properly secured.
An Unusual Event is the lowest of four emergency classifications established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. There is no danger to the public or plant employees associated with this declaration.
Exelon Nuclear has notified all appropriate federal, state and local emergency response officials of the Unusual Event.
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.