The owner of three nuclear power plants in Salem County plans to get paperwork moving to build a fourth in May.The new nuclear unit would allow the utility to decommission some of its more polluting coal and oil plants as well as provide more power as energy consumption is expected to increase as more people bring more tech items into their homes and businesses.
PSE&G, owner of the Salem 1 and 2 and Hope Creek plants, will submit an early-site permit application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for what would be New Jersey's fifth nuclear power plant and the first built here since 1986.
The application does not obligate the company to build a plant but merely identifies a location and explains why it is secure and environmentally suitable, said Joe Delmar, spokesman for PSE&G.
The company is sole owner of Hope Creek and majority owner of Salem 1 and Salem 2, all in Lower Alloways Creek Township.
"It does not designate what kind of reactor technology it will use. We don't know if it will be one unit or two or what its megawatt output will be," he said.
Siting the waste would still be a concern, but PSE&G's efforts are buoyed by the loan guarantees proffered by the Obama Administration to help defray the expected astronomical costs of constructing a nuclear power plant in the US.