We filed a contention with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission against a plan to extend FPL's plan to operate Turkey Point until 2052.
Why? There are some stark truths we need to face about the Florida Power and Light’s Turkey Point nuclear power plant, located less than 25 miles from downtown Miami. In addition to leaking contaminated water into the Biscayne aquifer (our drinking water supply) and into Biscayne Bay -- and trying to get us to foot the bill for their $200 million pollution problem -- they are also trying to run the aging Turkey Point plant for an unprecedented 80 years until the year 2052. What's the problem with that?
Well, here are some facts:
- Even under the U.S. Army Corps’ best-case projections, Turkey Point—and the canal system that cools it—will begin to suffer daily flooding in the next twenty-two years.
- It takes more than twenty years to safely decommission a nuclear reactor and make it safe for coming floodwaters. (And a full decommissioning is expected to on the order of 60 years).
- It takes about twenty years to get another power plant online once Turkey Point is no longer be able to produce power. (Although a renewable energy plant like wind and solar could be on line much sooner).
By the numbers, then, we are almost out of time to solve this existential threat to a critical part of our energy infrastructure. Unfortunately, instead of working towards decommissioning and safeguarding the plant, FPL is doubling down on Turkey Point. In fact, FPL is now applying for the nation’s first-ever subsequent license renewal to extend the life of this aging plant to an unprecedented eighty years—until 2052. That's why we believe that a nuclear reactor at Turkey Point is a deeply inappropriate and presents a high risk for our community and, therefore, we joined the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, Friends of the Earth, and the Vermont Law Clinic in a challenge against this relicensing application on August 1, 2018.