An electrical disturbance on the non-nuclear side of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township forced an automatic shut-down Thursday night, according to plant officials. 

Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant (Exelon)

The incident happened shortly before 5:30 p.m., according to plant spokesperson Suzanne D’Ambrosio.

"Operators responded appropriately and all systems functioned as designed. Notifications were made to the NRC and state officials as per procedure. The shutdown did not present any public health or safety risks," said D'Ambrosio in a news release.

In an email response to Townsquare Media, D'Ambrosio explained, "The nuclear side of the plant is the reactor and its related components - the parts of the plant where atoms are split, water is boiled and steam is made. The non-nuclear side of the plant is the components of the plant where the electricity itself is generated and then ultimately distributed."

Neil Sheehan, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spokesman, further noted the plant experienced an automatic reactor scram due to the electrical issue in one of the main transformers. The transformer is used to step up power produced by the plant before it is sent to the grid.

"One of our Resident Inspectors assigned to Oyster Creek on a full-time basis responded to the plant to observe shutdown activities, including equipment performance and operator actions, and did not identify any concerns. Next steps for the NRC's inspectors will be two review the company's post-shutdown assessments and follow its work to determine the cause of the transformer problem," said Sheehan.

The NRC tracks the number of unplanned scrams each plant experiences. The Performance Indicator in that area for Oyster Creek can be found here: http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/OC/oc_pi.html#IE01