Hope Creek reactor shut down

The Hope Creek nuclear power station in South Jersey was shut down at 11:02 a.m. Sunday, two days after the failure of a recirculation pump.

A PSEG Nuclear spokesman said it was the first time in at least a year the plant in Lower Alloways Creek Township, Salem County, had ceased operations for any reason. The utility said there was no safety hazard.

The reactor is on the same site as the Salem Generating Station, which was not affected and which remained in full operation with two reactors. The two plants, with a combined three reactors, constitute the second-largest commercial nuclear site in the United States.

Spokesman Joe Delmar said that the pump failed on Thursday and that plant workers had tried to solve the problem while cutting back on power. They finally decided Sunday to take the reactor offline until they could repair the pump.

Delmar said Sunday night he did not know when the plant would return to operation.

Contact Tom Infield at 610-313-8205, tinfield@phillynews.com, or follow @tinfield on Twitter.