Requests made to keep Oyster Creek ‘offline’

TRENTON – Environmental officials and citizens groups are calling on the Christie Administration to keep the Oyster Creek nuclear plant offline until, at the very least, an updated evacuation plan is drawn up and existing and potential cracks at the facility are fixed.

The group has also filed legal proceedings with the federal Nuclear Regulatory commission to intervene in the matter.

In their letter to Christie, the officials call for updating the evacuation plan.

“Until you are confident that we have an adequate, updated plan to evacuate the area, despite these new, major challenges, the plan should not operate and subject those who have just escaped mortal peril, to danger once more so soon,” the letter reads.

Oyster Creek was closed before Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Oct. 29.

But the group said the facility should remain offline for some time. The group says “the barrier islands’ natural physical defenses are now weaker and make Oyster Creek more vulnerable than before Sandy.”

It added that the “new cracks or precursors to cracks in and around the reactor vessel and control rods,” were found in recent inspections.

“It’s clear Oyster Creek should stay offline until the evacuation plan is updated to reflect the new post-Sandy reality,” said Kerry Butch, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey.

At the very least, officials are asking the evacuation plan be updated “to reflect the new reality post Sandy.” They also called for better facility designs to defend against extreme weather.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Requests made to keep Oyster Creek ‘offline’