OCEAN COUNTY (CBS) – One of New Jersey’s nuclear plants will be shutting down for good 10 years ahead of schedule, but not for awhile.

The Oyster Creek plant in Lacey Township, Ocean County is the oldest of more than 100 nuclear facilities still operating nationwide, and just got a 20 year license extension last year. However, Exelon Energy has decided to close the plant in 2019 mostly for economic reasons according to plant spokesman David Benson.

“Those factors are below market prices, the demand, the plant’s continuing need for large capital expenditures,” said Benson.

New Jersey had been demanding Exelon install costly cooling towers to protect marine life in Barnegat Bay. That won’t happen now. Spent fuel rods will be stored on site for at least a decade as part of the decommissioning process once the facility closes. The 700 people working there will be transferred to other Exelon facilities with a small contingent kept on for post-closure maintenance and security.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio

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