LACEY —  Exelon Generation announced that the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant will close in October.

The company, which is required to close the 49-year-old facility by December 2019 as part of an agreement with the state, said the new schedule allows them to meet that deadline and help employees at the plant find jobs elsewhere in the company.

"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 in a statement.  "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 employees will continue to operate the plant until October. Some will stay on to decommission the facility after it is shut down.

According to Exelon, the plant produces 636 net megawatts of electricity at full power, enough electricity to supply all the homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

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