turkey point blog

CASE Files Amicus Brief Supporting Turkey Point Appeal

Citizens Allied for Safe Energy (CASE) has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Miami Waterkeeper's continued legal challenge against the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its erroneous license renewals for FPL's two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point Power Plant. CASE's filing comes days after Miami Waterkeeper and co-plaintiffs Friends of the Earth and Natural Resources Defense Council filed our initial brief in the United States of America in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

Source: Keys News

In short, CASE's brief argues that the environmental impact caused by hypersaline water from Turkey Point's cooling canals leaking into surrounding groundwater has gone unaddressed by FPL and the FDEP. CASE, in its brief, asks the Court to vacate the plant's license renewals and remand to the NRC.

FPL received original operating licenses for its two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point Power Plant in 1972 and 1973 from the NRC, which functions under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). In 2002, with the expiration of the original licenses only 10 years away, the NRC granted FPL initial 20-year license renewals for its two nuclear reactors. In 2018, Turkey Point became the first nuclear power plant in the country to apply for and receive a subsequent license renewal, doubling the plant’s original operating time and extending it into the 2050s.

Miami Waterkeeper and co-plaintiffs have challenged the granting of the operating license on the grounds that FPL is not adequately considering listed species, sea-level rise scenarios, and ongoing groundwater contamination. We argue that Turkey Point’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) inadequately addressed environmental impacts and that the NRC erred in granting a license renewal to FPL for its two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point. Following a string of legal responses to the lawsuit from both parties, the Court granted Miami Waterkeeper and co-plaintiffs a hearing to discuss these issues' merits. Read about the lawsuit and summarized court filings HERE.

Our initial brief on appeal argues that the NRC acted arbitrarily and capriciously in granting the Turkey Point license renewals. The brief makes two main arguments: 

  1. The NRC granted a subsequent license renewal without analyzing major issues regarding the environmental consequences of operating aging nuclear reactors for 80 years. 
  2. The NRC arbitrarily concluded Turkey Point’s impacts on groundwater will be “small” over the next three decades.

You can find our initial brief and CASE's amicus brief HERE and HERE, respectively. 

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