Hope Creek Power Plant, Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey
Hope Creek Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located in Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey. It is owned and operated by PSEG Nuclear, a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). The plant has one boiling water reactor, which is capable of generating 1,059 megawatts.
Construction of Hope Creek Generating Station began in 1974 and was completed in 1986. Its owners faced several challenges during this time, including insufficient funds to complete the project as it was first envisioned. As a result, the plant was built with one reactor instead of the two that were originally planned.
Nuclear Power and the Environment
Nuclear power stations like the Hope Creek power plant use radioactive materials (most commonly enriched uranium) to heat water, which is then used to power electricity-generating turbines. In some ways, this method of producing electricity is much cleaner than burning fossil fuels. For example, fossil fuel-burning power plants release greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the air, while nuclear power plants do not.
Of course, nuclear power plants have their own disadvantages. Whenever radioactive materials are used, security must be a top priority. Accidents at a power plant can cause harmful radiation to be released into the environment, potentially causing significant health problems for people in nearby communities. In addition to rigid safety measures, every plant must also have a plan for safely storing and disposing of radioactive waste.
Unfortunately, there are additional health hazards that may be found in plants of any kind. Prior to 1987, asbestos was used extensively in power plants across the US. Its use was finally discontinued after studies linked it to mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other serious conditions. If you have worked in or lived near a power plant, let your doctor know that you may be at risk for asbestos exposure.