Set to begin decommissioning in 2019, Exelon Generation has announced the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant will close in October of this year.

At the end of the current operating cycle, Exelon officials say the plant will shut down for good.

Exelon is required to close Oyster Creek by December of 2019, as part of an agreement with the State of New Jersey, according to Kristen Otterness with the company.

Officials with Exelon say the new schedule allows them to meet that commitment and help employees at the plant find jobs elsewhere in the company and managing costs.

"I want to thank the thousands of men and women who helped operate Oyster Creek Generating Station safely for the past half-century, providing generations of New Jersey families and businesses with clean, reliable electricity," Bryan Hanson, Exelon President and Chief Nuclear Officer said. "We will offer a position elsewhere in Exelon to every employee that wishes to stay with the company, and we thank our neighbors for the privilege of allowing us to serve New Jersey for almost 50 years."

They'll be in a better position to manage resources as fuel and maintenance costs continue to rise amid historically low power prices, Otterness said.

Exelon will continue working with local officials, state agencies, elected representatives and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to plan for long-term decommissioning.

Oyster Creek's approximately 500 highly trained employees will continue to operate the plant at world-class levels until October 2018.

Some will stay on to safely and securely decommission the facility after it is shut down.

The plant produces 636 net megawatts of electricity at full power, enough electricity to supply 600,000 typical homes, the equivalent to all homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined.

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