FPL’s irresponsible management of its Turkey Point Nuclear Plant risks the future of Biscayne Bay and threatens the viability of many sensitive species. We have an update on our 2018 lawsuit, filed in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Friends of the Earth, against FPL’s plan to operate Turkey Point until 2052. In good news for everyone in South Florida that drinks water, the case is scheduled for oral argument on February 17, 2021, at 9:30 A.M.
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.
Factoring in future sea-level rise caused by climate change, FPL’s desire to operate Turkey Point until 2052 becomes not only unconscionable but delusional. 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. 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.
Watch Miami Waterkeeper’s oral argument live on February 17, 2021, at 9:30 A.M.