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Letter: Oyster Creek’s Critics are Spreading 'Unwarranted Fear' After Hurricane Sandy

The executive director of New Jersey Energy Coalition argues that anti-nuclear advocates need a reality check

To the Editor:

As New Jersey residents recover and rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it’s an emotional time and many people are still suffering greatly. It’s downright shameful that local anti-nuclear activists are using New Jersey’s greatest disaster to spread unwarranted fear among those trying to heal. Nuclear critics have been very busy since the storm hit, using misinformation and bad science to bully public officials and scare local residents into believing that Oyster Creek Generating Station is a ticking time bomb that should be shut down. Aren’t these the same critics who called for Oyster Creek’s closure after 9/11 and Fukushima? Regardless, their recent claims are again unsubstantiated by facts.

Even before Sandy made landfall, they warned Oyster Creek would flood; service water pumps would fail; the reactor would melt and the plant’s spent fuel would expose the shore to a Fukushima-like disaster. As we know, none of these implausible events occurred. After the storm they changed tactics, claiming the station was “inches from a meltdown” and that deep cracks in the reactor should compel the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shutter the facility immediately.  A subsequent special inspection by the NRC independently confirmed that none of those claims had any basis in fact.

By all the accounts I’ve seen from Exelon, the NRC and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Oyster Creek prepared well and stood strong during Sandy. It’s time for Oyster Creek’s critics to get their facts straight, separate science from supposition, and stop all the fear mongering to advance their anti-nuclear agenda.

Oyster Creek has been a clean, safe, reliable source of energy for almost 1 million New Jersey homes for nearly 43 years and Sandy was no match. Regardless of your personal opinion of nuclear power, you have to admit that’s a pretty good record.

Sincerely, 

Bob Marshall
Executive Director
New Jersey Energy Coalition 

Paul Ryan January 27, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Which is going to be shut down and replaced by a gas plant of Gov Chrisco choice not located here in Lacey. I agree the plant is 43 yrs old and this time there was no disaster but what if we are not so luck this Summer? What about the spent fuel rods? Shut it down now before the meltdown
proud January 27, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Build two more new ones across the street.
Ryan Hardy January 27, 2013 at 01:48 PM
This plant needs to go NOW! The ancient, unsafe design is full of leaks and Exelon is only too happy to cover it up. Especially with its location, its extremely prone to a disaster that would bathe us all in toxic radiation. Japan is still a mess after Fukushima! Do we really want that for us? We need to replace it with something safer and sustainable.
dedicated vol. January 27, 2013 at 03:02 PM
What people don't realize is that even if it shut down today, there is no place for the spent fuel rods to go. So guess what will be in our backyards for many years to come!!!!
frankie thesherm January 27, 2013 at 06:03 PM
pssssssssssssst its not needed Gov Chrisco is having a gas one built to replace the power from Oyster Creek. New developments in solar are the answer and are on the way Does anyone remember beta? vhs? cd? now blue ray End Foreign aid use the money to fund wind and solar eliminate the electric bill
Exit 74 January 27, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Every form of power production has some sort of risk associated with it. Wind and solar are prohibitively expensive at their current states of development, and the real estate for them isn't available at the Jersey Shore. Combined with the fact that the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground in the North East does not lend itself to cost effective solar panel use. And wind power is loud. Would you like a 200ft wind turbine in your backyard to help replace Oyster Creek? No matter what replaces the current power plant, people will still complain. Everyone wants all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks, which is physically impossible. I will be sad to see the nuclear plant go in a couple years. Of course, if people are so afraid of it, why do they still live near it? Move outside of Lacey, and enjoy the higher property taxes (since, you must know the power plant helps keep property tax in Lacey affordable). Good luck in a couple of years when the plant closes it doors to power production. - A lifetime resident of Forked River Beach
frankie thesherm January 27, 2013 at 11:25 PM
well exit 74 they use to shit in the woods before indoor plumbing funny I went past the wind mills in Ocean Gate didn't hear any "noise" funny I don't see the beauty of Oyster Creek Gov Christie supported a new gas plant that wasn't being built here in Lacey Do not think solar will be improved ? End all Foreign aid and use the money to eliminate Electric bills
Resident of Lacey January 28, 2013 at 01:41 AM
...And build the two that were planed to go behind this one. We need more just like this one, and we want them here in Lacey!
Resident of Lacey January 28, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Yes you are part right, we need more new nuke plants with current tech.
Gene Kronberg January 28, 2013 at 04:38 PM
The same extreme leftists who are calling for the nuclear industry to be shut down blocked the development of the Yucca (Nevada) repository where spent nuclear material was to be being sent by now. These eco-extremists are attempting to stop the resurgence of the natural gas and oil industry by falsifying information of the use of fracking: the "Jason Bourne" fights fracking movie was mostly funded by Qatar, a major oil producing "nation." These same hard leftists are cheering the destruction of the coal industry and the shutting sown of coal fired energy plants. The hard left has no substitute power source of scale with which to replace the energy plants which use oil, natural gas, coal, or nuclear power. It should be obvious by now that the hard left desires the destruction of the United States.
wookfish January 28, 2013 at 06:05 PM
there's plenty of real estate on the shore now..
Mr. Dee January 28, 2013 at 10:16 PM
One word: TRITIUM How much TRITIUM has Oyster Creek nuclear power plant leaked into Barnegat Bay, which then went into the Atlantic Ocean. What is Tritium? Tritium is a radiation hazard when inhaled, on the skin, in food and in water. Tritium can cross the placenta barrier to the fetus. Aside from tritium, nuclear power plants release other dangerous radiaisotopes during their daily operations. This radiation is called "EFFLUENT." Radiation like Cesium-137 which can cause brain cancer; Iodine-131, which can cause thyroid cancer; Strontium, which can cause bone cancer. Google "NRC Environmental Effluent Oyster Creek" to see what radiation is released into the environment by Oyster Creek. And bear in mind that there is no level at which radiation is considered safe!! They should shut down Oyster Creek for the health of NJ citizens and the environment.
Gene Kronberg January 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Sir, you have leveled a charge based on supposition and not on that there has been a leak of Tritium: "may have" or "might have" are not evidence of a leak. Why don't we provide some information instead of "mights" and "mays": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tridium From the article: " It decays into helium-3 by beta decay...The electron's kinetic energy varies, with an average of 5.7 keV, while the remaining energy is carried off by the nearly undetectable electron antineutrino. Beta particles from tritium can penetrate only about 6.0 mm of air, and they are incapable of passing through the dead outermost layer of human skin. ...[note: here is some danger:]Tritium is potentially dangerous if inhaled or ingested. It can combine with oxygen to form tritiated water molecules, and those can be absorbed through pores in the skin." To continue...
Gene Kronberg January 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM
To continue... Further reading of the Wikipedia article indicates that Tritium is confined to the heavy water cooling system: "Tritium is also produced in heavy water-moderated reactors whenever a deuterium nucleus captures a neutron. This reaction has a quite small absorption cross section, making heavy water a good neutron moderator, and relatively little tritium is produced." The article goes on to reveal that there are programs in place to periodically filter this heavy water for Tritium. Oh, and you forgot to mention dosage: how much dosage via inhaling, eating, or drinking is necessary to achieve adverse effects? Isn't Google a real pain for fear mongers?
Gene Kronberg January 29, 2013 at 01:01 PM
"And bear in mind that there is no level at which radiation is considered safe!!" Now you're just lying. Again Wikipedia: Hormesis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis. FTA: "In toxicology, hormesis is a dose response phenomenon characterized by a low dose stimulation, high dose inhibition, resulting in either a J-shaped or an inverted U-shaped dose response. Such environmental factors that would seem to produce positive responses have also been termed "eustress.""
wookfish January 29, 2013 at 03:15 PM
so what you're saying is that even if it closes for safety reasons the plant will have to remain open, paying taxes for years to come? fine by me..
Mr. Dee January 30, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Do not accuse me of lying. Here is just a small sample of sources concluding there is NO safe dose of radiation. (1) World Health Organization "Director-General Margaret Chan said There is no safe low level of radiation.” http://concernforhealth.org/radiation-is-always-dangerous-says-world-health-organization-director-general/ (2) “There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of (ionizing) radiation so low that the risk of a malignancy is zero”--Dr. Karl Morgan, the father of Health Physics" http://www.nirs.org/radiation/radiationhome.htm (3) Wikipedia: "radiation is always considered harmful with no safety threshold" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_no-threshold_model (4) "Radiation is Never Safe -- "There is no safe level of radiation," said Dr. Jeff Patterson, immediate past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a radiation exposure expert" http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/insights/04/01/11/nuclear-radiation-there-no-safe-dose http://environment.about.com/od/nuclearenergywaste/a/Radiation-Safety-Is-Radiation-Ever-Really-Safe.htm (5) ""Nuclear radiation: There is no safe dose" By Romeo F. Quijano, M.D. (6) Regarding hormesis: "THE HORMESIS SCAM" by Dr. Karl Grossman "Among the nuttiest theories about radiation is that it is good for you." http://www.karlgrossman.com/articles.html#Hormesis Scam - Radiation is Good for You?
Mr. Dee January 30, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Tritium leaks and Oyster Creek: (1) From Wikipedia: "A week after Oyster Creek got its new 20-year license, workers found a tritium leak which came from two buried pipes that had not been properly insulated the last time they were worked on in 1991. A second tritium leak was discovered in August, 2009, from a pipe leading into an electrical turbine building. The tritium contaminated groundwater on the plant site and has been flowing into Barnegat Bay." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_Creek_Nuclear_Generating_Station (2) "The tritium-contaminated water leaked from pipes at the Lacey Township facility last year. Tritium is a byproduct of nuclear plant operations. It's been linked to some forms of cancer." http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/12/nj_environmental_chief_says_tr.html (3) "Oyster Creek nuclear plant to remove tritium-tainted water from South Jersey aquifers" "Operators of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station are beginning a long-awaited pollution clean-up this week by pumping tritium-tainted water from the Cape May and Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifers, which provide drinking water to more than a million South Jersey residents." [...] "designed to remove about 180,000 gallons of the tainted water water that was accidentally released through two holes in underground pipes at the Lacey Township nuclear facility. " http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/oyster_creek_nuclear_plant_to.html
wookfish February 04, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Oh genny boy, why is Frank LOUSENBERG questioning the safety of the plant now?

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