Putting Safety First at Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
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Putting Safety First at Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant

Clean Water Action applauds Gov Murphy for Reestablishing Oversight Board on Oyster Creek due to Safety Concerns

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Today - Clean Water Action applauds Governor Murphy for reconstituting the independent oversight board regarding the decommissioning of the Oyster Creek Nuclear plant in Lacey township, NJ. It was first formed at the request of Clean Water Action, GRAMMES (Grandmothers, Mothers and More for Energy Safety) and other environmental grassroots groups in 2009 when the plant was relicensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

“There are too many safety concerns and questions surrounding the current decommissioning of Oyster Creek,” said Janet Tauro, NJ Board Chair, Clean Water Action. “In the past the NRC has demonstrated themselves to be a rubber stamp of the nuclear industry. The state has always been more diligent about safety. We congratulate Governor Murphy for adding a new layer of oversight.”

The NRC approved the sale of Oyster Creek from Exelon to Holtec International during the Summer 2019.  A list of safety concerns have been raised by grassroots and environmental groups including: the complex limited liability corporate structure, decrease in security, long term viability of dry cask storage of highly radioactive spent fuel rods, potential conflicts of interest, and whether safety margins would be cut in favor of reducing costs and increasing profit margins. Multiple building trade unions attended a Holtec Town Hall last week and charged that Holtec was hiring lower skilled workers to perform decommissioning tasks threatening their safety and that of the surrounding communities.

“As it stands now, Holtec is overseeing Holtec,” saidAmy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action. “That cannot be.”

Over 1 million pounds of highly radioactive waste has accumulated at the site. The safety of 3.5 million people within a 50 mile radius commands laser focus on safety and financial ability to complete the job.

“Governor Murphy has spoken loud and clear,” continued Tauro. “By reconstituting the oversight committee he demonstrates that public safety and environmental protection is of paramount importance to him and his administration.” 

Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress. Clean Water Action has 150,000 members in NJ and nearly 1 million nationwide.  www.cleanwater.org/nj

Janet Tauro