LACEY TOWNSHIP — A special inspection of the Oyster Creek Generating Station took place after employees of the power plant found 30-year-old local range power monitors that contain small amounts of uranium.
A Dec. 5 report filed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said a box of eight local range power monitor detectors, which measure the power inside of the nuclear reactor core, was found under a pallet inside a warehouse Oct 8.
The local power range monitors contain uranium isotopes.
According to Suzanne D’Ambriosio, Oyster Creek Generating Station communications manager, the monitors were found in a secure warehouse, then relocated under the supervised control of the plant’s radiation protection program. Radiological surveys confirmed no radioactivity from the devices, and there is no health and safety risk for plant workers or the public, she said.
Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the devices were not built for use at Oyster Creek and contained less than a gram of a “special nuclear material.” The report said the detectors were most likely a part of a test program that was discontinued in 1990.
Sheehan said in an email, “We have already looked at the issue as part of an inspection, and our inspectors will continue to engage the company on it.”
Oyster Creek Generating Station is the nation’s oldest operating nuclear power plant, producing enough electricity to power about 600,000 homes. Exelon announced in 2010 that the plant would close in 2019.
Since then, the NRC increased oversight of the plant.