The oldest operating commercial nuclear power facility in the nation, Oyster Creek Generating Station, .closed on September 17, 2018 at noon. It operated for the past 49 years and now the plants owner, Exelon, will remove the reactor’s fuel supply and store it safely in the station’s used fuel pool.
Oyster Creek began commercial operation on Dec. 23, 1969 and has since produced almost 200 million megawatt-hours of carbon-free electricity, enough to power about 600,000 homes for nearly a half-century with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions. Along the way, it’s estimated that the station and its employees pumped more than $3 billion into the local economy, including wages, taxes, charitable contributions and local purchasing. Since 1969, Oyster Creek has offset more than 140 million metric tons of carbon, the equivalent of nearly 31 million cars.
In February 2018, Exelon Generation announced Oyster Creek would permanently shut down this fall at the end of its current operating cycle. Exelon Generation was required to close Oyster Creek no later than December 2019 as part of an agreement with the State of New Jersey.
In July, Exelon Generation announced a conditional sale of Oyster Creek to Holtec International, a global leader in used nuclear fuel management technologies. The transaction is expected to close in 2019, pending license transfer approval from the NRC. Once the sale is completed, Holtec International will manage all site decommissioning and restoration activities with a goal of full decommissioning within eight years.
About 300 of Oyster Creek’s employees will be staying at Oyster Creek for decommissioning with Exelon Generation and, ultimately, Holtec. Other employees are moving to other roles within the Exelon family of companies, while some have elected to retire or move on to other opportunities outside the company. (Exelon)