Waters Recede, Oyster Creek Terminates Alert
Offsite power restored, outage work resumes
Forked River, NJ - Oyster Creek Generating Station exited “Alert” status at 4 a.m. EDT today after water levels at the plant’s intake structure returned to normal and offsite power was restored. The Alert was terminated and normal operations resumed less than 36 hours after Hurricane Sandy pummeled the New Jersey coast with historic rains and surge tides.
Station employees responded quickly and appropriately to the storm’s challenges and all plant safety systems, including used fuel cooling, operated as designed. Additional workers are expected to return to the plant today to resume a refueling and maintenance outage that began Oct. 22 and was temporarily delayed by the storm.
Operators at Oyster Creek declared the Alert Monday night as Sandy’s winds and heavy rains generated tides 6.8-feet above mean sea level at the plant’s water intake structure. High tide at 1 a.m. EDT today measured 4.1-feet. Water levels were never high enough to top the canal banks or impact operation of plant equipment.
About the time the tidal surge crested, the station lost power from the grid and the station’s electricity supply was transferred to two locomotive-sized backup diesel generators, which started automatically. Offsite power was restored today and Exelon and JCP&L crews are working to determine the cause of the interruption.
An Alert is the second lowest of four emergency classifications established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Alert was required by plant procedures based on pre-determined water level thresholds at the intake structure.
Oyster Creek is about 60 miles east of Philadelphia in Ocean County, New Jersey. The plant produces 636 net megawatts at full power, enough electricity to supply the equivalent of all private homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined.
Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately $33 billion in annual revenues. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is the largest competitive U.S. power generator, with approximately 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 100,000 business and public sector customers and approximately 1 million residential customers. Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 6.6 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO).