Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station

Coordinates: 39°28′04″N 75°32′17″W / 39.46778°N 75.53806°W / 39.46778; -75.53806
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Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station
Hope Creek NPP, image courtesy of the NRC
CountryUnited States
LocationLower Alloways Creek, Salem County, New Jersey
Coordinates39°28′04″N 75°32′17″W / 39.46778°N 75.53806°W / 39.46778; -75.53806
Construction beganMarch 1, 1976 (1976-03-01)
Commission dateDecember 20, 1986
Construction cost$8.510 billion (2007 USD)[1]
Nuclear power station
Reactor typeBWR
Reactor supplierGeneral Electric
Cooling towers1 × Natural Draft
Cooling sourceDelaware River
Thermal capacity1 × 3840 MWth
Power generation
Units operational1 × 1172 MW
Make and modelBWR-4 (Mark 1)
Units cancelled1 × 1067 MW
Nameplate capacity1172 MW
Capacity factor103.81% (2017)
87.1% (lifetime)
Annual net output10,658 GWh (2017)
External links
WebsiteHope Creek Nuclear Generating Station
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station is a thermal nuclear power plant located in Lower Alloways Creek Township, in Salem County, New Jersey, United States, on the same site on Artificial Island as the two-unit Salem Nuclear Power Plant. The plant is owned and operated by PSEG Nuclear LLC. It has one unit (one reactor), a boiling water reactor (BWR) manufactured by GE.[2] The complex was designed for two units, but the second unit was cancelled in 1981. It has a generating capacity of 1,268 MWe. The plant came online on July 25, 1986, licensed to operate until 2026. In 2009, PSEG applied for a 20-year license renewal,[3] which it received in 2011 to operate until 2046.[4] With its combined output of 3,572 megawatts, the Salem-Hope Creek complex is the largest nuclear generating facility in the Eastern United States and the second largest nationwide, after the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona.

Hope Creek is one of three licensed nuclear power reactors in New Jersey. The others are the two units at the adjacent Salem plant.[5] As of January 1, 2005, New Jersey ranked 10th among the 31 states with nuclear capacity for total MWe generated. In 2003, nuclear plants generated over one-half of the electricity in the state.[6]

Plant features[edit]

Hope Creek is a boiling water reactor (BWR) unlike its neighbors at the nearby Salem Nuclear Plant which are pressurized water reactors (PWR).

Hope Creek's reactor is used to produce electricity. The plant's huge natural-draft cooling tower can be seen from many miles away in both Delaware and New Jersey and as far west as Elk Neck Peninsula in Maryland. The cooling tower can be seen from the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the bridges over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. This cooling tower serves only Hope Creek's single reactor. The neighboring Salem units utilize once-through cooling with no cooling tower.

A unique feature of Hope Creek is its cylindrical reactor building complete with a dome which makes it appear similar to a pressurized water reactor containment building which is not typical of boiling water reactors. This similarity is limited to appearance. Like other BWRs, the actual containment vessel for the reactor is a separate drywell/torus structure enclosed within the reactor building, but structurally separate. The outer reactor building serves as secondary containment and houses many of the reactor's safety systems.

Surrounding population[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[7]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Hope Creek was 53,811, an increase of 53.3 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 5,523,010, an increase of 7.5 percent since 2000.

Cities within 50 miles:

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Hope Creek was 1 in 357,143, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[9][10]



  1. ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". www.eia.gov. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. ^ The Hope Creek Generating Station Archived 2007-10-25 at the Wayback Machine, PSE&G. Accessed September 15, 2007.
  3. ^ "PSEG seeks licence renewals for two plants". World Nuclear News. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  4. ^ Caroom, Eliot (July 20, 2011). "Hope Creek's license extended by NRC - with conditions". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  5. ^ "NRC - Licensed Facilities by Region or State - New Jersey". US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  6. ^ "New Jersey Nuclear Industry". United States Department of Energy. Archived from the original on May 29, 2010. Retrieved 2008-08-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ "NRC: Backgrounder on Emergency Preparedness for Nuclear Power Plants". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2013-05-25.
  8. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, NBC News, April 14, 2011 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42555888 Accessed May 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," NBC News, March 17, 2011 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42103936 Accessed April 19, 2011.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2011-04-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]