Two weeks ago Miami Waterkeeper traveled up to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., for oral arguments before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The hearing was in regard to FPL’s Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant’s proposed operating license renewal. Why are we concerned with FPL getting approval for this operating license? Well, a nuclear generator acts similarly to a steam engine in that it creates really hot water that needs to be cooled down. Unlike most other nuclear power plants, FPL uses a system of cooling canals like a radiator to achieve this goal. The problem is that these canals are unlined, which means that the really hot, salty, nutrient-rich water is able to leech down into the ground and travel in all directions due to the porous limestone geology beneath the plant. The salty subsurface water, referred to as the hypersaline plume, has been gradually moving toward the groundwater supply, which is our primary source of drinking water here in South Florida. The plume is now migrating at about a foot a day! The plume is also moving east towards Biscayne Bay, an area that offers critical protection to sensitive ecosystems, wildlife, and unique habitats, and supports the local economy through recreation opportunities, tourism, and the provision of ecological goods and services.