The National Academy of Sciences visits Oyster Creek in Lacey Township as part of its study on the lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident and how to improve safety measures domestically.

Meeting in Toms River (Ilya Hemlin Townsquare Media NJ)

The committee of scientists also held a public comment session Monday night in the Clarion hotel of Toms River. While they couldn’t speak about their findings at Oyster Creek, the public provided insight on what they believed to be short comings with plant operations.

Janet Tauro, director of anti nuclear group Grandmothers Mothers, and More for Energy Safety (GRAMMES) wanted the panel to consider many issues, including fuel rod storage, provisions for the plant’s licensing agreement, the status of its boilers, as well as emergency backup and cooling.

Like many other residents, Tauro criticized the plant’s evacuation strategy, claiming it was inadequate to move a large population quickly and effectively.

“They did not take into account shadow evacuations. Which is the people living outside of the evacuation zone and how all of those panicked people take to the roads and jam up the roads.”

Study Director Kevin Crowley says the researchers visited Japan’s nuclear plants as well as other American locations, pointing out they are looking at the procedures overseas and how they would apply here.

“There may be some concerns we would have understanding what happened to Japan, but then we would look at the United States and say ‘well that doesn’t apply here’, or we might find something does apply here and it needs to be done.”

Scientists will be continuing their study of US plants with a visit next month to the Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia.