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LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Normal operations have resumed at a southern New Jersey nuclear plant that was taken offline late last month for refueling and maintenance work.

Officials say the Salem 1 plant started sending out electricity again early Wednesday morning.

Its reactor had been shut down on Oct. 23 so hundreds of staffers and contractors could replace some equipment and perform maintenance work on numerous other items. Crews also inspected vital equipment to make sure it was operating properly.

The Salem 1 plant is one of three reactors operated by PSEG Nuclear at its Artificial Island complex in Lower Alloways Creek Township. The three plants in Salem County produce enough electricity to power 3 million homes.

The two other plants — Salem II and Hope Creek — were not affected by the work.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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