Japan prompts questions over NJ nuclear plant

March 14, 2011 3:21:22 PM PDT
People who live near the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power plant have been keeping a close eye on events in Japan, especially since the reactors there, believed to be partially melting down, are the same design as the plant here.

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The Oyster Creek Generating Station is one of 23 in the United States with the same containment system as the ones failing in Japan.

Others in our area include Limerick and Peach Bottom in Pennsylvania.

Linda Keane of Lacey Township, New Jersey has been watching updates on the nuclear plant crisis in Japan with special interest as the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant is near her home.

"I think they'll be more conscious about where we are right now with the plant over here. We're so close to it, anything could happen," Keane said.

Other residents echo Linda's concern.

"We live like ground zero; we live right around the corner. And so you do wonder could something like that happen here and what would we do?" Marily Harkin of Lacey Township said.

"It's always a concern especially since it's all neighborhoods here, you're not in the middle of nowhere," Chris Sendner of Toms River said.

Oyster Creek went online in 1969 and is the oldest nuclear power plant in the country.

Exelon, which owns the plant, declined to comment for this story, but industry groups say US plants are safer than those in Japan and that a partial meltdown, like the one at Three Mile island in 1979 and seems to be happening now in Japan, is unlikely to happen here.

"It's been operating here for I don't know how many years, we haven't had any problems. It's a big part of our economy here, there're a lot of people employed by that plant," Mark Hammett of Lacey Township said.

"I don't worry about it around here because if something happens it doesn't matter, it's too late," Lacey Township resident Bob Brueckman said.

"We did hear on the news that it was the same one they have over there. It does kind of cross your mind, but you just kind of pray and hope to God you're okay," Lacey Township resident Pamela Crispin said.

So folks are conscious of what's happening in Japan, but most don't believe something like that would ever happen here.

Emergency Information

For emergency information, assistance, and locating family in connection with earthquake in Japan: http://www.facebook.com/l/6b2e3a9CLMNbUwBsOw1jOL8d5aw/www.jhelp.com

Phone numbers in US and Japan:

202 559 4683
800 373 1110
0570 000 911
011 81 90 7170 4769
011 81 90 3080 6711