For Immediate Release
Contact: Gail Towns - 732.987.2266 Tara Strickland - 732.987.2291 Bookmark and Share 

GCU Offers Updates on Oyster Creek and Fukushima Nuclear Plants

Lakewood, N.J., Jan. 22, 2013—As the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown approaches, join Georgian Court University on Tuesday, February 5, for a discussion on the current status of Fukushima, Japan, and New Jersey's own Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant. The discussion will take place in the Dorothy Marron University Community Chapel on GCU's Lakewood campus from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Christian Collins, who spent six weeks in Fukushima and facilitated the "No More Fukushima" Walk last year at Georgian Court, will discuss the state of Fukushima, and Jeff Tittel, a lobbyist and director of the New Jersey Sierra Club will share the state of Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Lacey, New Jersey.

On March 11, 2011, following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in Japan experienced a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials in the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, making it only the second disaster to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

The plant, which was comprised of six separate reactors, was operating on emergency power when the tsunami following the earthquake flooded the low-lying rooms in which the emergency generators were housed, causing them to fail. This cut power to the critical pumps that continuously circulate coolant water through a nuclear reactor for several days in order to keep it from melting down after being shut down. The reactors overheated, and significant amounts of radiation were released into the atmosphere, ground, and ocean waters.

Oyster Creek began operating in New Jersey in December 1969 as the first large-scale commercial nuclear power plant in the United States. Already on schedule to close in 2019, On October 30, 2012, during Hurricane Sandy, the plant's intake structure was flooded with more than 7 feet of water as a result of the storm surge. The plant was already down for maintenance and lost its electrical power from the grid, so operators called an "alert" that escalated the plant a step up from the lowest emergency level, and they turned to backup generators to keep cooling the reactor.

Topics to be discussed at the February 5   event, which is organized by Jersey Shore Nuclear Watch and the GCU Department of Holistic Health, include:

•    What have the people in Fukushima, Japan, been doing?

•    What are the effects of long-term low doses of internal radiation to the people of Fukushima?

•    What do we know about food safety after the meltdown?

•    What is the state of Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant, which has the exact same unit as Fukushima?

The discussion is free and open to the public, and no reservations are required. For more information, For more information please contact the GCU Department of Holistic Health at 732.987.2663, or Jersey Shore Nuclear Watch at 732.240.5107.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court announced in May 2012 its transition to a fully coeducational university in 2013. Today, the university serves nearly 2,500 students of all faiths and backgrounds in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at the New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall.

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