U.S. Nuclear Plants Brace for Hurricane Sandy Impact
As Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast, preparations are under way to safeguard Oyster Creek Generating Station, the oldest U.S. nuclear plant.
Oyster Creek, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Atlantic City, generates 630 megawatts (MW), or enough electricity to power 600,000 households. Situated about a mile inland from the brackish inlet of the Atlantic Ocean known as Barnegat Bay, it shares the same design as Japan's tsunami-crippled coastal nuclear plant, Fukushima Daiichi. But industry officials and regulators argued today that Oyster Creek and two dozen other nuclear plants in the path of the unprecedented storm were prepared to withstand the worst. Oyster Creek declared an alert Monday night, citing "water exceeding certain high water level criteria in the plant’s water intake structure," according to a release from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC said it expected water