LACEY TOWNSHIP - Exelon Corp. says it will shut down the nation's oldest nuclear power plant in Lacey Township 10 years earlier than expected by Dec. 31, 2019.

Some area residents told News 12 New Jersey they were happy to hear of the decision to close the Oyster Creek nuclear plant after decades of safety concerns.

Other residents said yesterday they weren't so sure the decision was the best for the surrounding area. "It's a shock and we're losing a lot of places like this, it's not good for us," said Dave Cassone, a Howell resident who works inside the plant.

The rising cost of maintaining Oyster Creek was one reason why Chicago-based Exelon Corp. agreed to shut down the plant early.

The early closure deal also led New Jersey to drop its demand that the plant install costly cooling towers to prevent harming Barnegat Bay and the marine life that lives there.