ENVIRONMENT

Salem County Nuclear Site Still Feeling Effects of Japan Meltdown

A year after the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan had a meltdown, the PSEG Nuclear site in Salem County continues to feel the effects. Weeks after the disaster in Japan, U.S. regulators ordered nuclear plants across the country to check their systems and ensure they could withstand natural disasters. PSEG employees spent thousands of hours examining equipment and the company will have to comply with more regulations in the future.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued new orders March 9 in response to the Japan disaster, which requires nuclear plants to purchase additional emergency pumps and generators, create more geological studies for natural disasters and review and revise procedures to be implemented in the next four years. The NRC expects more measures to come after that.

The PSEG Nuclear site is the second largest of the nation’s 104 plants, containing three nuclear reactors on 740 acres. “These nuclear reactors generate enough electricity for almost three million homes each day,” PSEG Nuclear Communications Manager Joe Delmar said. “It also constitutes over 50 percent of New Jersey’s energy production.”

Operators are constantly training on routine operations and worst case scenarios in control room simulators. Officials at the PSEG site say it has become increasingly important to have an open dialogue about energy issues especially because the Garden State’s energy resources are so constrained.

NJToday’s Lauren Wanko reports from Lower Alloways Creek Township.

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