Oldest power plant in US will be decommissioned decades earlier than planned

Preservation of the Forked River shoreline and worker safety are priorities.

Ian Bush
July 31, 2018 - 1:24 pm
Reactor operator Chris Mitchell explains the control room at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Lacey, New Jersey, the oldest nuclear plant in the country, in 2004.

lde / MCT

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OCEAN COUNTY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The Oyster Creek nuclear plant in Ocean County is scheduled to shut down this fall, but it wasn't supposed to be fully dismantled until 2078. 

Now, a Camden company wants to dramatically accelerate that timeline. 

Officials from Holtec International said the company can decommission Oyster Creek within eight years.

If government regulators approve, the company would buy the nuclear-generating station in Lacey Township from Exelon. The current owner said the deal would allow many employees facing relocation the chance to stay where they are.

Preservation of the Forked River shoreline and worker safety are priorities, according to Holtec.

RELATED: After nation's oldest nuclear plant closes, radioactive material will remain for decades

The cost is covered by a decommissioning trust fund, meaning no increases for utility customers. 

The work would be carried out by Camden-based Comprehensive Decommissioning International, LLC (CDI), a joint venture of Holtec and the Canadian company SNC-Lavalin, which has helped speed the cleanup efforts at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site in Japan.

Holtec is hoping to win approval for a facility in New Mexico to store spent fuel from Oyster Creek and other nuclear plants.