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Oyster Creek: A Neighbor Some Don’t Even Know

The owners of Lacey Township’s Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant are always keeping county residents up to speed on their 43 year old neighbor.  But surprisingly, many don’t know much about it.

New Oyster Creek siren (L) next to an old one
New Oyster Creek siren (L) next to an old one (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

During last week’s emergency siren test, we spoke with several people who were aware of the plant but had no clue what it does or what to do if there was ever an emergency.  Plant spokesperson Suzanne D’Ambrosio says “because the plant has operated safely all these years, people never think twice.  We always saturate the area with information.  In fact, our new emergency guide, which is updated each year, is about to be sent out.”

Some of the people we spoke to during a field report last week told us they didn’t pay attention to any of the mailings from Exelon because they thought it was junk mail.  However, D’Ambrosio says “it’s up to the residents to decide what mail is important and what isn’t.  We just hope with a sense of community and neighbors, people will spread the message.”

Oyster Creek nuclear power station is a single unit 636 MWe boiling water reactor power plant located on an 800-acre site.  The facility is currently owned and operated by Exelon Corporation and is the oldest operating commercial nuclear power plant in the United States.  The plant gets its cooling water from Barnegat Bay, an estuary that empties into the Atlantic Ocean through the Barnegat Inlet.

Today, the warning sirens will be tested again.  They are one of several methods used by county emergency management agencies to provide notification of emergencies.  Individual counties may activate the sirens to warn the surrounding areas and communities of any situation.

Residents with siren concerns should drop a call over to the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management at 732-341-3451.

As always, the sirens are not a signal to evacuate the area.  In the event of an actual emergency, the sirens direct everyone to turn to their Emergency Alert System Radio or TV stations for information.  92.7-WOBM-FM and 1160 & 1310-WOBM-AM are two EAS stations.


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