Ocean County residents will have a chance to voice any concerns or questions about the safety of the Oyster Creek Generating Station at a public meeting with federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials on May 22.
The NRC will hold an open house from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. prior to the public meeting at the Holiday Inn on Route 72 West in Manahawkin. Attendees will have a chance to discuss the plant's performance with NRC staff. The public meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and will include a question and answer session.
Oyster Creek - which is owned and operated by Exelon - operated safely during 2013, the NRC said.
"At the conclusion of last year, as assessed by the Reactor
Oversight Process, there were no performance indicators for the plant that were other than
“green” (very low risk) and no inspection findings that were “greater than green” (that is, none of
the findings exceeded very low safety significance)," according to an NRC statement.
The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators to assess plant performance. Performance indicators are statistical measurements of plant and equipment performance which, if exceeded, trigger additional NRC oversight. The colors range from green, connoting very low safety or security significance, to white, yellow or red, for an issue of high significance.
Oyster Creek - located off Route 9 in Lacey Township - will continue to receive the NRC’s normal level of oversight during 2014, barring any changes, NRC officials said.
The normal level of oversight consists of a detailed regime entailing thousands of hours of inspection. In 2013, the NRC devoted approximately 5,310 hours of inspection at Oyster Creek, a boiling-water reactor that began operations in 1969.“Oyster Creek, by virtue of its performance in 2013, will receive our routine – though still substantial – battery of inspections," NRC Region 1 Administrator Bill Dean said.
The NRC issues reports on performance at each plant twice a year. Inspection findings and performance indicators are also updated on a quarterly basis on the agency’s website. The NRC meets with the public in vicinity of each plant to discuss the results.
Two resident inspectors are assigned to Oyster Creek. Reviews are also performed at the site by specialist inspectors assigned to the agency’s Region I Office in King of Prussia, Pa. Among the areas to be inspected this year at Oyster Creek are emergency preparedness, radiological protection and the plant’s problem identification and resolution program.
The Annual Assessment letter for Oyster Creek, as well as the notice for the May 22 public meeting and open house, are available on the NRC website. Current performance information is also available for Oyster Creek.