In an interview with Bret Kugelmass of the Titans of Nuclear podcast, watch as PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo talks about the importance of nuclear energy and energy efficiency in mitigating against carbon emissions.
PSEG announced it has one of the lowest carbon emissions rates of the nation’s largest power producers. As the deputy general counsel and managing director of environment at PSEG, I couldn’t be more proud of our achievements to date and the continued efforts across the company as we strive towards a clean energy future. Continue reading
The challenges presented by climate change are real and growing more apparent every day. As an energy company, PSEG has a unique opportunity to rise to these challenges while serving our customers, our communities – and the planet.
Our customers will always depend on the safe, reliable, around-the-clock energy we provide, but we know that won’t be enough anymore – we must also be champions of clean energy.
In this video, PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo reaffirms our commitment to be part of a clean energy future.
Pennsville is a quiet South Jersey town in rural Salem County, just a stone’s throw from the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. On any given morning, a healthy stream of customers frequent area gas stations and convenience stores to fill their vehicles with gas and themselves with coffee. From here, many of these men and women set off for the 20 or so miles to PSEG Nuclear’s Salem and Hope Creek Generating Stations.
On most normal mornings, traffic is brisk heading to the plant. However, when one of the stations conducts a refueling outage, traffic swells exponentially.
All nuclear power plants have planned shut downs for maintenance and refueling. Nuclear energy facilities are unique among other power plants in their need to refuel just once every 18 to 24 months. These events tend to occur in the spring and fall when electricity demand is at its lowest.
This spring, Hope Creek is conducting its 21st refueling outage. It is a special time for Hope Creek because it is the first time in its 32-year operating history that the station has completed a “breaker-to-breaker” run. This means the station has been providing electricity nonstop since its last outage 18 months ago. As a result of that continuous operation, Hope Creek set a new generation record in 2017, when it produced 10.6 million megawatt-hours of electricity.
Refueling outages are all about teamwork. Before an outage even begins, an orchestrated assortment of activities takes place, typically beginning with tasks like erecting scaffolds, pre-staging equipment and hours of administrative work, including processing hundreds of additional personnel.
One of the critical activities at the start of an outage is the choreographed exercise of safely taking the plant offline. A refueling outage is more than simply flicking a switch. Highly-trained Nuclear Operations Professionals work methodically as a team to safely remove the station from the regional power grid. Then the team focuses on performing tasks to ensure the reactor is cooled down and remains cooled down during the duration of the outage.
In addition to replacing a third of the reactor’s secure, on-site fuel, the list of Hope Creek outage projects includes tests and inspections, maintenance activities and millions of dollars worth of capital equipment upgrades to help improve reliability and continued safe operations.
These refueling outage cycles signify more than just the replenishment of the materials and servicing of the equipment that enable Salem and Hope Creek to supply 40 percent of New Jersey’s electricity and produce more than 90 percent of New Jersey’s carbon-free electricity.
While Salem and Hope Creek employ 1,600 people, a refueling outage also means an additional 1,000 jobs for a several-week period. This is a boom to the local economy as these workers spend their money locally on housing, restaurants and other goods and services throughout the Salem County area.
With farms dotting its landscape, it’s often said that Salem County is the garden spot of the Garden State. But for local residents and the entire community, it’s the hustle and bustle of the nuclear plants’ refueling outages that help drive the local economy.
The DiMarco family has owned the Italian Kitchen near the plants for more than 30 years, and the outages are good for business.
“It’s our busy season and we get workers coming and going at the shift changes for both breakfast and dinner,” Gino DiMarco said. “It’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed so we love when it’s refueling outage season!”
Within a few short weeks, the refueling outage will be over and Hope Creek will return to service. Another refueling outage is scheduled for Salem Unit 2 in the fall.
As days grow colder, many New Jersey families are relying on natural gas to keep their homes warm and comfortable.
Increasingly, in many parts of the U.S., we’re also turning to inexpensive, abundant natural gas to generate the electricity that powers our homes and businesses.
In New Jersey, we traditionally have relied on a diverse mix of fuel to generate electricity – about half our energy has come from nuclear, with the remaining split between natural gas and coal, and more recently a small but growing amount of solar (currently in the range of 4 percent) . Continue reading
By the time David Jansen came to work at the new nuclear power plant being built along the eastern bank of the Delaware River, the massive construction project was the biggest thing he had ever seen.
The containment for Salem Unit 1 was halfway done, and “Salem 2 was a big muddy hole in the ground,” Jansen said.
That was in 1970. At any given time, a visitor might have seen as many as 5,000 workers on Artificial Island – construction workers, engineers, electricians and the many people who supported them. That number also included future nuclear plant operators, like Jansen, who eventually would man the controls of the brand-new nuclear reactor.
“I was in awe of the complete size of the operation,” Jansen said. Continue reading
Fuel diversity matters. It takes a variety of energy sources to meet our electricity needs: nuclear, natural gas, solar and wind. Unfortunately, it is not a level playing field and our nation’s nuclear plants are struggling to compete.
For the 1,700 employees at PSEG Nuclear’s Salem and Hope Creek Generating Stations, our main priority is providing safe, reliable clean power for the region. South Jersey isn’t just where we do business – it’s also our home. As one of the region’s largest employers, we also see firsthand the impact we have on the local community every day.
If you’ve heard me discuss nuclear power often on my morning radio show on New Jersey 101.5 FM and our nightly Fox TV show, Chasing News, then you know that I love it. It’s clean, efficient and enables America to keep up with its continuous demand for energy. Continue reading
What if New Jersey’s nuclear plants – which produce nearly 50 percent of the state’s electricity and 97 percent of its carbon-free energy – were to close? The result would be more pollution, higher bills and thousands of jobs lost.
As New Jersey and the rest of the United States look for ways to shrink their carbon footprints, energy experts agree that the nation’s nuclear plants will have to play a role if tough carbon-reduction targets are going to be reached.