Exelon Nuclear has said that its Oyster Creek generating station, located about 50 miles east of Philadelphia and 75 miles south of New York City, has completed maintenance work and returned to service.

Operators had shut down the reactor to perform planned maintenance on a feedwater heater. Oyster Creek has three feedwater heaters, which are used to maximize the plant’s efficiency by recovering heat. Feedwater heaters are located in the turbine building and are not related to the plant’s safety equipment.

Mike Massaro, vice president of Excelon, said: “We safely completed a large amount of work that will ensure the safe, reliable production of electricity throughout the summer. I applaud the Oyster Creek team and supplemental staff for their quality performance and commitment to safety.”

Prior to startup, Exelon made a courtesy notification to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that a small number of fish were found floating in the plant’s outflow canal. In addition to its own environmental staff, the station immediately engaged an independent environmental company to assist with the analysis. In all, 47 fish were found over the two day weekend, the company said.

According to the company, during the maintenance outage, the Oyster Creek generating station met all water discharge permit requirements. Canal temperatures have been stable, changing only with natural environmental conditions.

Oyster Creek is a 636MW boiling water reactor capable of providing the carbon-free energy needed for about 600,000 homes.