FL. Environmentalists Fight Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant Operation Request

Earlier this year, Florida Power and Light that owns and operates the Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Homestead filed a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew the power plant’s operating license for another 20 years, which would allow the facility to continue operating until 2053.

According to the Miami New Times, greens complain that the nuclear plant has leaked salt water into Miami’s major drinking-water aquifer and spilled trace amounts of radioactive materials into Biscayne Bay. Consequently, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) has filed an objection with the NRC hoping to block the permit extension pointing to the leaked salt water from Turkey Point nuclear plant’s cooling system as the reason not to grant FPL’s request.

What environmentalists conveniently omit is that similar issues about Turkey Point’s cooling system salt water ejections were raised two years ago and Florida Power and Light worked with Miami-Dade officials to quickly address the problem. Quoting from The New York Times:

Robert L. Gould, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light, said the company had been working under a consent decree with Miami-Dade County since October to address the high salinity in its canals. Salinity levels have been cut in half from their high point, he said. He attributed the high salinity levels and the algae bloom to drought conditions in 2013 and 2014, which drastically increased water temperatures in the canals, not to the overhaul of the plant’s two nuclear reactors.

The company is also moving to address the spikes in nutrients, tritium and ammonia, Mr. Gould said, although he added that ammonia was not a byproduct of nuclear plants. He emphasized that the trace levels of tritium were far below the danger levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water. The company has been in contact with the federal agency, he said.

None of these problems, Mr. Gould said, are threatening the state’s drinking water supply or even the bay’s health. The problem is mostly in areas right near the plant, he added. The closest the saltwater plume is to the water wells is about four miles away. “I really need to stress that there is no safety risk: There is no risk to the bay or to the drinking water,” Mr. Gould said. “The way it’s been portrayed by some is simply unfair. It’s extremely misleading.”

Ultimately, SACE says it wants Turkey Point’s canal system torn apart and nuclear cooling towers built so the plant operates like any other nuclear power station. This despite their concerns about alleged toxic emissions from the facility already having been addressed, environmentalists still make unwarranted demands. In reality, environmentalists are not interested in the natural environment affected by Turkey Point nuclear plant, they just want it shut down and will use any means necessary to accomplish their goal.

PHOTO By AcroterionOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link