Exelon will retire the 619 MW Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey in 2019, 10 years before its license is set to expire.
“The plant faces a unique set of economic conditions and changing environmental regulations that make ending operations in 2019 the best option for the company, employees and shareholders,” said Chris Crane, president and COO. A specific retirement date in 2019 has not been set.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted a 20-year operating license extension to the plant in 2009. The plant entered commercial service in 1969. It uses a General Electric boiling water reactor. The plant was built by Burns & Roe beginning in 1965.
Exelon said the decision is based on the "cumulative effect of negative economic factors which has caused Oyster Creek’s value to decline." It said factors include low market prices and demand and the plant’s need for continuing large capital expenditures. Also, potential additional environmental compliance costs based on evolving water cooling regulatory requirements at both the federal and state government levels created "significant regulatory and economic uncertainty."
Exelon's decision to retire the plant early means the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will not require the company to install cooling towers at Oyster Creek.
Subscribe to Nuclear Power International magazine.