GUNTER: Oyster Creek closing good news, but…
GUNTER: Oyster Creek closing good news, but… from APP
Suzanne D’Ambrosio, communications manager at Oyster Creek Generating Station, talks about the plans for the decommission of the nuclear power plant at Oyster Creek Training Center in Forked River. Staff video Tanya Breen
While Beyond Nuclear welcomes Exelon’s announcement that it will close its Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in October, this should have happened immediately after the March 11, 2011, Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
Exelon announced Friday that it would shut the reactor more than a year earlier than its December 2019 closure date, but the company has not given an explanation for its decision. However, an Exelon press release alludes to “managing costs.” Oyster Creek is the first and the oldest Fukushima-design nuclear reactor in the world, a GE Mark I boiling water reactor.
It’s clear that Oyster Creek and the entire, aging U.S. nuclear reactor fleet is hemorrhaging financially. The fact that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear industry continue to prioritize financial margins over public safety margins is a growing concern, especially at the remaining 29 Fukushima style reactors still operating in the U.S.
None of our country’s Fukushima-design reactors should have operated for even one more day once we saw the catastrophic events publicly unfold worldwide at Fukushima.
In June 2013, the NRC issued an order requiring the U.S. fleet of Mark I (22) and Mark II (8) reactors to upgrade their containment systems with a hardened venting system that would deliberately vent the extreme pressure, heat and radiation from a severe nuclear accident.
Following the three explosions at the Fukushima nuclear reactors, the NRC finally admitted that this containment design doesn’t work. And yet the agency has been utterly delinquent in ensuring that the safety upgrades the NRC itself ordered have been made at our country’s most dangerous nuclear power plants.