After the shutdown: Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station

Oyster Creek nuclear plant new jersey

IAN T. SHEARN / NJ MONTHLY – December 23, 1969, was a blustery day in Ocean County, with winds gusting up to 20 miles per hour across Barnegat Bay and the temperature dipping into the teens. It was a slow news days as the country paused to celebrate Christmas. Reports emerged that a federal grand jury had issued new subpoenas in a corruption probe that would ultimately take down Newark mayor Hugh Addonizio. In Chicago, anti-war activist Abbie Hoffman took the stand in the notorious trial of the Chicago Seven. Across the Pacific, the Viet Cong agreed to a three-day Christmas truce as President Richard Nixon vowed to wind down the Vietnam War. On the U.S. pop charts, Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” reigned as number 1.

Two years behind schedule, way over budget and with little fanfare, Jersey Central Power & Light put its Oyster Creek nuclear generating station online that day at 12:01 am, producing more than 500 megawatts of electrical power. It marked the first operational use of General Electric’s Mark 1 boiling-water reactor, promoted as a smaller, cheaper alternative to its predecessors …

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