"Oldest US Nuclear Reactor: a 'Disaster' in Waiting?"

"LACEY, N.J. -- A sleepy New Jersey town has popped onto people's radar screens because it has the oldest running nuclear power plant in the United States -- and, some say, the most dangerous.

Named for a Revolutionary War general, Lacey is the kind of American town that few from outside the seaside settlement knew much about before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan triggered a nuclear crisis.

Down the road from the 1950s-style diner and across from the bridge that locals use as a fishing pier stands the Oyster Creek nuclear plant.

It uses a GE Mark I Boiling Water reactor identical to those that lost power at Japan's Fukushima plant in the March 11 earthquake and then was struck by a tsunami that knocked out its backup generators, causing reactor cooling functions to fail.

US anti-nuclear activists and many residents of Lacey and surrounding Jersey shore townships worry that a similar nuclear disaster could happen at Oyster Creek, and it wouldn't need an earthquake or tsunami to trigger it."

Karin Zeitvogel reports for AFP March 24, 2011.

Source: AFP, 03/25/2011