The Ocean County freeholders this week passed a resolution supporting the "continued evaluation" by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of whether radiation filters should be installed on vents at the Oyster Creek Generating Station in Lacey.
The move fell just short of what some local advocacy groups had hoped for – an all-out endorsement of filters.
The filters were suggested in an NRC report outlining how to avoid
contamination similar to that which occurred after the Fukushima Daiichi
plant in Japan melted down following an earthquake in 2011.
Oyster Creek uses the same General Electric Mark 1 reactor as Fukushima. After the meltdown in Japan, where plant workers were reluctant to open vents, the NRC required vents to be installed in all U.S. plants that automatically open. But some fear the vents could cause a release of radiation into the local community, hence the desire to have filters installed.
An NRC panel ruled earlier this year that the vents were not required. Several groups, including the New Jersey Environmental Federation, have vowed to appeal the decision.
The freeholders' resolution, passed on Wednesday, supports an NRC investigation to determine "if such filters are appropriate on plants such as the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, considering all technical, logistical and permitting factors."
It also encourages Oyster Creek's owner to evaluate and incorporate strategies that would minimize the risk of the public in the event of a severe accident at the plant.
The resolution will be mailed to the plant as well as the NRC, in addition to a number of county planning officials.