By: Anthony Panissidi |
The Oyster Creek Generating Station removed its generator at midnight Monday and began a planned refueling outage, officials said.
During the outage, Exelon employees and supplemental workers will perform maintenance activities and replace nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel to keep the unit running safely and reliably for a two-year operating cycle, spokewoman Suzanne D’Ambrosio said.
To support the work, the station will use more than 1,000 additional workers, many of whom travel to Oyster Creek from outside the area. Officials believe the influx of workers provides a significant boost to the local economy during the several months preceding and following the outage, D’Ambrosio said.
During the outage, technicians will complete testing, maintenance and modifications that can only be done when the station is not generating electricity, D’Ambrosio said.
Oyster Creek is about 60 miles east of Philadelphia in Ocean County. The plant produces 636 net megawatts of electricity at full power, enough electricity to supply 600,000 typical homes, the equivalent to all homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined. In addition, plant workers, through their payrolls, are responsible for more $96 million injected directly into New Jersey’s economy, D’Ambrosio said.