New Jersey environmental officials have kept their end of a deal with the owners of the nation's oldest nuclear power plant.

The Oyster Creek plant will shut down 10 years earlier than expected. And in return, its owners won't have to build costly cooling towers.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Environmental protection gave plant owners Exelon Corp. a permit that lets it keep drawing creek water to cool the plant, and allows it to discharge heated water back into the creek and Barnegat Bay.

The hot water is suspected of contributing to algae blooms and increased numbers of stinging jellyfish in the bay.

The state says the early closure is a good trade-off for not requiring cooling towers, but environmentalists say the deal is bad for the bay.

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