Oyster Creek is preparing to follow the necessary protocols once Hurricane Irene hits but the specific plans cannot be determined until the storm actually transpires, spokesperson Suzanne D’Ambrosio said.
“Exelon site and corporate personnel continue to carefully watch the progression of Hurricane Irene and are ready to take specific actions to protect the plant, personnel and the public,” she said.
Oyster Creek is in a state of extreme weather preparedness, D’Ambrosio said.
“Simply put, once it was determined that the plant could be affected by this storm, formal procedures and preparations were enacted to assure the safety of the plant, personnel and the public,” she said.
Preparations include assuring that all plant safety systems are operational; that all outside equipment, materials and other items are properly secured and stowed and that plant procedures related to the affects of a hurricane are reviewed and ready for use if needed, D’Ambrosio said.
“Exelon Nuclear’s highly trained and qualified personnel are also ready take specific actions, above and beyond their routine jobs to keep their coworkers, their neighbors and the plant safe,” she said.
Oyster Creek was designed to withstand natural occurrences greater than what it would typically encounter in the region where it is situated, D’Ambrosio said. The station can withstand floods, high winds and have numerous safety systems that will operate and/or safely shut the reactor down in the event of a loss of offsite power.
Oyster Creek is the oldest operating nuclear plant in the country and provides enough around-the-clock electricity for 600,000 New Jersey homes and began commercial operations in 1969.