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GOTSCH: Nuclear concerns warranted via APP.com

In the Jan. 25 letter, “Oyster Creek ‘stood strong’ against ravages of Sandy,” the New Jersey Energy Coalition, started a few years ago with funding from the Exelon Corp., put forth a scurrilous rant about the “agenda” of people who live near the Oyster Creek nuclear plant in Ocean County.Called “downright shameful” by Bob Marshall from Millville, NJEC’s executive director, these are the very people who have had their lives turned upside down because of storm damage to their homes.

What could possibly have so raised the sanctimonious ire of a paid Exelon lobbyist to launch such a vehement diatribe against people who understandably have concerns and want more information about the storm-damaged nuclear plant in their neighborhood?

The safety issues citizens raised are valid, and contained in official NRC reports. Thirty-six of 43 emergency sirens were not operational the night superstorm Sandy hit, and there was no backup power for them. NRC incident reports state there were some indications of cracking and a leaking pinhole perforation in the primary cooling system for the plant. All required inspection and repair, and they will have to be watched in the future.

Loss of outside electrical power and the flood levels during the storm did lead to concern for the service pumps. People in the area who knew that salt water had completely ruined their electrical connections in many cases wanted to know if the electrical circuitry at Oyster Creek had taken an unknown hit that would cause problems later.

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