Federal Regulators Approve Meaningless License for New FPL Nuclear Reactors at Turkey Point

Guest Blog | April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018

Contact: Sarah Gilliam, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]

Miami, Fla. (April 5, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) combined operating license for two AP1000 reactors at their Turkey Point facility near Miami. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has challenged the federal licensing for years.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) approval of FPL’s licensing for new reactors at Turkey Point was expected and does nothing to revive a project that is effectively dead due to economic challenges it cannot overcome – which include the bankruptcy of the designer and builder of the AP1000, Westinghouse, caused by skyrocketing costs and delays in the reactor construction industry. FPL itself has recognized the challenges, and has hit the ‘pause’ button, and cannot commit to build the proposed reactors,” said Sara Barczak, Regional Advocacy Director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

There is only one remaining AP1000 reactor project under construction in the U.S., in neighboring Georgia at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle where state and federal bailouts, including taxpayer-backed federal loan guarantees, have kept the costly project going. That project has doubled in cost to more than $27 billion and is over five years behind schedule.

“FPL should instead focus on cleaning up its water pollution mess at its Turkey Point plant cooling canal system which serves its existing Units 3 & 4 reactors. The underground pollution plume it has created threatens South Florida’s drinking water and the health of Biscayne National Park. FPL is astonishingly asking for a 20-year extension of its operating license from the NRC for those reactors – without a plan that ensures successful remediation of its current pollution mess,” said Barczak. “Before FPL can get another green-light from federal regulators such as the NRC and from local regulators, such as the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, the power company must be required to implement a comprehensive solution that stops use of the antiquated cooling canals once and for all and transitions to cooling towers – a technology commonly used in the industry.”


About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.