DEP forms advisory panel as part of Oyster Creek power plant oversight

TRENTON – An advisory panel has been formed to review ongoing safety plans at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, the Department of Environmental Protection announced Friday.

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin signed an Administrative Order creating an Oyster Creek Safety Advisory Panel that DEP said would  enhance oversight of the plant leading up to its closure by the end of 2019.

“The closure of Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is a key component of Governor Christie’s plan to restore and protect the ecologically stressed Barnegat Bay,” Martin said in a release.

The plant, the oldest nuclear power plant in the country, is run by Exelon Corp.

Among other things, the Panel will monitor Exelon’s compliance with the Administrative Consent Order signed Dec. 9, which DEP said is designed to ensure that the shutdown is executed in a safe, well-planned manner.

Martin will chair the three-member panel, which will include Charles B. McKenna, director of the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.  In consultation with community and environmental groups, Martin will name an independent expert in nuclear safety to serve as the third member. DEP nuclear engineers and experts will provide expertise and serve as staff to the panel. DEP forms advisory panel as part of Oyster Creek power plant oversight