On March 4, 2021, the US Court of Appeals dismissed the petition we launched, in conjunction with Friends of the Earth and Natural Resources Defense Council, challenging FPL’s plan to operate its Turkey Point Nuclear Plant until 2052.
FPL received the nation's first subsequent license renewal for Turkey Point from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late 2019. Miami Waterkeeper and partners argued that this decision was improper and that continued operation of Turkey Point should consider ongoing impacts to groundwater from the plant and climate considerations.
FPL’s nuclear power plant cools itself by emitting hot, salty, nutrient-rich water directly into a system of canals east of Homestead, supposedly keeping pollutants away from Biscayne Bay. However, A 2016 study by Miami-Dade County found levels of tritium–a radioactive isotope produced by nuclear reactors–in Biscayne Bay were 215 times higher than observed in normal ocean water. The 39 unlined canals managed by FPL predictably allowed heavily polluted water to travel through the porous limestone beneath us in all directions. Observed as far back as 1978 by FPL’s own consultant, Turkey Point has been leaking salty water continuously into the Biscayne Aquifer–resulting in the hypersaline plume threatening Biscayne Bay today. Traveling at about a foot a day, the plume that FPL caused continues to encroach on sensitive ecosystems, wildlife, and unique habitats.
Due to sea level rise driven by climate change, Turkey Point will begin to suffer daily flooding in the next twenty-two years even under the U.S. Army Corps’ best-case projections. Decommissioning a nuclear reactor to make it safe for coming floodwaters takes more than twenty years. As time to solve this existential threat to our drinking water ticks away, FPL is doubling down on Turkey Point.
Ignoring the science and the undeniable evidence present in the water today would mean disaster for all of us. That is why Miami Waterkeeper is fighting to hold FPL accountable and shut Turkey Point down.