An environmental awareness group urged the administration of President Barack Obama to stop construction of new nuclear power plants and issued a report detailing safety problems at the various facilities, including two nuclear energy plants in New Jersey.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group issued a report Tuesday citing a history of safety problems at nuclear reactors in the United States, including Oyster Creek in Lacey Township, Ocean County and a plant in Salem County.
“The nuclear crisis in Japan is a terrifying reminder of all that can go wrong at a nuclear power plant. The United States must move away from this inherently dangerous technology and towards safer energy sources,” said Johanna Neumann, PIRG’s Safe Energy Advocate, in a statement.
The report said that in 2002, investigators discovered that radioactive material, including a cancer-causing form of hydrogen know as tritium, had been leaking into groundwater for five years at a nuclear power plant in Lower Alloways Creek in Salem County.
The report also mentions that a similar leak of tritium was discovered at the Oyster Creek Generation Station power plant, which is the oldest nuclear power plant in the country. The leak was found after the plant received a 20-year license extension, by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Oyster Creek will be shut down in 2019 after the state regulators made a deal with the plant’s owners, Exelon Corp. or Chicago, to avoid having to build cooling towers.