Crist and Board Approve New Reactors in Florida

Guest Blog | August 11, 2009 | Press Releases

Tallahasse, FL—Despite the significant negative impacts of building two new nuclear reactors and the massive transmission line project required, the Siting Board, comprised of Governor Crist and his Cabinet, today approved Progress Energy of Florida’s application to certify an undeveloped site in Levy County, approximately forty miles from Ocala and Gainesville.

“Though this approval is only one small step in a lengthy process, we are disappointed to see the Governor and Cabinet ignore the exorbitant costs of building these reactors and look past the several unresolved environmental issues that have been identified at the state and federal levels,” said Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, an energy policy organization that legally intervened in the process. “Not only is this the largest transmission project ever proposed in Florida, these risky new reactors have not been built anywhere in the world and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is still modifying the reactor design here in the U.S.”

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the federal agency responsible for reactor licensing, has agreed with concerned organizations that the licensing process should not proceed until the impacts on wetlands, the underground Florida aquifer system, local rivers, and the Big Bend Aquatic Seagrasses Preserve are further studied. The NRC also found deficiencies in Progress’ plans for radioactive waste disposal, particularly highly-radioactive Class B and C nuclear waste.

“Governor Crist has had a history of being a public defender against the big power companies’ abuse of Florida consumers but with today’s decision he appears to have sided with the power companies, giving unfettered access to consumers’ wallets,” said Dr. Smith. “The only definite coming out of today’s decision is that Floridians are going to see their electric bills increase as this project’s price tag spirals out of control.”

For more information, including testimony that highlights the high costs with building new reactors in Florida for the upcoming 2009 Prudency Review hearings in September at the Florida Public Service Commission, visit # # #