After 49 years of dutiful service, America's oldest nuclear power plant has gone offline forever.
New Jersey’s Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, Ocean County near the Jersey Shore has closed its doors leaving just 98 nuclear power plants that are currently online in the United States according to Fox News and the Associated Press.
“Today we honor the men and women at Oyster Creek Generating Station as operators take it offline for the final time,” the former plant's operators, hired by the Exelon Generation tweeted this past Monday.
For those who think that the closing of a nuclear power plant can't possibly be an emotional situation, the Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey just might prove them wrong. America's (formerly) oldest operating nuclear power plant went online on Dec. 1, 1969. Through the power plant's decades of service, it generated enough carbon-free energy to power around 600,000 homes.
Oyster Creek Generating Station also helped its local neighbors by driving over $3 billion straight into the Ocean County community's economy via local purchasing agreements, taxes and employee wages.
Most people don't have a deep knowledge of the goings-on at a nuclear power plant aside from Homer Simpson's daily workday shenanigans (funny) or tragedies like the Chernobyl disaster (scary). But Oyster Creek Generating Station worked to change the scary view from the minds of local residents by never posing a problem to public safety and always maintaining a high level of safety through the 49 years the plant operated other than smaller issues such as corrosion and leaks which were quickly handled without causing risk of harm to nearby residents.
Oyster Creek Generating Station will be greatly missed by the generations of families whose lives were touched either by being employed directly or having loved ones employed at the nuclear power plant. Local residents, especially those who once witnessed the power plant's arrival into the township so long ago, are touched by the loss as the power plant was one of the township's claim-to-fame.
"Preserving nuclear power is critical to help decarbonize the power grid," Exelon Generation tweeted on Sep. 17, 2018 as their final farewell.