Operators at the Exelon (NYSE:EXC) Oyster Creek nuclear plant removed the generator from service at 12:40 a.m. Sept. 19 to begin a planned refueling outage, the company said in a news release.
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 for another two-year cycle.
To support this work, the station will use more than 1,000 additional workers, many of whom travel to Oyster Creek from outside the area.
During the outage, technicians will also complete testing, maintenance and modifications that can only be done when the station is not generating electricity.
“Our refueling outage allows us to perform important maintenance that will ensure Oyster Creek continues to operate safely and reliably, so that when temperatures soar like they did this summer, or plummet like they will in the winter, residents’ important energy needs are met,” said Site Vice President Garey L. Stathes.
Oyster Creek did conduct a regular maintenance outage, of less than three weeks, this spring, which allowed the plant to prepare for the summer season.
This summer, when New Jersey saw some of its highest temperatures on record, Oyster Creek operated at greater than 95.7% capacity during June, July and August, ensuring consistent reliable power to the region, Exelon said.
Exelon Generation previously announced a few years ago that Oyster Creek will close in 2019. Its final refueling outage is planned for 2018. Oyster Creek’s formal deactivation paperwork was filed with PJM in late 2015.
Oyster Creek is a 636-MW boiling water reactor (BWR) is located about 60 miles east of Philadelphia in Ocean County, New Jersey.