Broward News and Entertainment Today

Proposed nuclear plants at Turkey Point, NRC accepting public comments til Aug. 16

Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant

FPL has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) proposing to add two more nuclear units 6 and 7 at Turkey Point. These would be in addition to the five units that are already there; units 1, 2, and 5 which run on fossil fuels and units 3 and 4 which are nuclear.

Two scoping meetings, which are a required part of the application process, were held Thursday, July 15 in the Homestead YMCA. Conducted by several representatives from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the intent of the meetings were to explain the process of the application and continue to collect public comments over a sixty day period which began June 15.

It is questionable whether NRC is truly as neutral as insisted by Andrew Kugler, Environmental Project Sr. Manager for NRC, in reviewing an application for new nuclear power plants given that at a time when transparency is stressed, notification for the beginning of the commentary period was published in the Federal Register only. When Tomeka Terry, Environmental Project Manager for NRC, was questioned that this would not be a readily available notification to the general public, she agreed. There was an ad that ran in the Miami Herald, Sunday, 7.11.2010 announcing the scoping meeting.

The schedule for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) begins with the scoping period from June 15 to August 16. Comments from the July 15 meeting will be available in November on the NRC website. The NRC expects to publish a draft EIS in October 2011. There will be a 75-day comment period on the Draft EIS followed by a formal EIS expected to be published in October 2012. The meetings on July 15 are to address environmental concerns. Required is a separate safety evaluation study to be performed as well that will follow the same formal process.

In reviewing FPL’s application, the NRC is the lead agency with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serving as a cooperating agency. It was surprising to learn that most nuclear power plants are located next to wetlands. Megan L. Clouser Sr. Project Manager for the USACE outlined the impact to the waters by the proposed nuclear power plants citing the loss of over 733 acres of wetlands and 24 acres of open water due to the reactor site, administration building, parking, transmission lines, reclaimed and potable water pipelines, reclaimed water facility and access roads.  Deep well injection and radial wells will also be utilized.

After the presentation was completed, the floor was opened to public comments. While there was the typical political grandstanding and PR gestures, the room seemed evenly divided between pro and con. Interestingly, the argument predominantly put forth in favor of granting the license was economic, job creation. While perhaps this topic is still all too timely, the intent of the meeting was to conduct an environmental review. Environmentalists spoke with facts why the granting of the license should be denied and provided written documentation of the research to support their comments.

It is the NRC’s mission to protect public health and safety, promote common defense and security and protect the environment. If this is true, then the mere fact that all of the literature made available to the public that day was 2 1/2 inches thick might indicate otherwise. That the increase in security after 9-11 entailed adding more personnel, more frequent posting etc.  vulnerable to human error but with no advances in the technology itself. The Westinghouse AP1000 plants that FPL wants to build have not been built before. NRC has not formally approved the design as of yet. With the ongoing tragedy of the oil spill in the Gulf that seems to have been finally abated along with BP’s constant apologetic confessions on a daily basis that this was uncharted territory for them because “it has never been done before” should be reason enough to seriously question the safety of such an application that utilizes designs that have yet to be approved.

Another consideration is the cost at a hefty price tag of about $18 million dollars to be borne ultimately by the ratepayers of South Florida. When Andrew Kugler was asked about the approximate cost of the fee that FPL will pay to the NRC for the combined license application he estimated $10 million dollars. This does not account for the expense for FPL’s in-house costs to file this application.

Mayor Otis Wallace of Florida City, Miami-Dade College, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce favor approval of the license. Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, IDEAS, Tropical Audubon Society, the Urban Environmental League argued that the risks are too great. Despite FPL’s ongoing campaign to market nuclear power as clean energy generation with zero greenhouse gas emissions, many environmental concerns remain unanswered. Mining and processing uranium, the fuel for nuclear reactors, is neither clean nor environmentally friendly. Using water from Biscayne Bay to cool the reactors would destroy marine life near the grates as water is sucked in and releasing slightly radioactive process water at a significantly higher temperature than the surrounding water causing a shift in the water’s pH. Algae blooms have been a noted by-product of this condition. FPL asserts that at a 40′ capture below the bay’s surface should avoid these problems. Environmental concerns cited during the meeting were signficant and numerous, clearly all the more reason for the license to be denied.

So it is time to speak up! You have until August 16 to cite reasons either: How FPL made a mistake in the filing of the application and/or How environmentally it would be detrimental to allow two new nuclear power plants. If the NRC agrees that environmentally the location is not acceptable they have three choices.

  1. Request that an alternative site be found.
  2. Deny the application.
  3. Recommend alternative energy sources.

One of the premises of FPL’s application is that they need to provide additional energy because of an increase in need. Considering that more people are leaving rather than coming into our state, this currently seems a difficult position to justify. If it can be shown that there is not a great need and that alternative energies would suffice these could be powerful reasons for the NRC to rule against FPL. Note, Andrew Kugler stated that, to his knowledge, no application for a new nuclear power plant has ever been turned down for environmental reasons and knew only of one that was turned down for safety reasons.

You need to act now with environmental facts supported with research not just that you don’t like nuclear power to have the NRC seriously consider denying the application.

Electronic comments should be sent to:

Written comments should be sent to:

Chief, Rules, Announcements and Directives Branch

Division of Administrative Services

Offices of Administration

Mailstop TWB-05-B01M

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Washington, D.C.  20555-0001

Fax your comments to: (301) 492-3446

Access to the environmental report:

Homestead Branch Library  700 North Homestead Blvd.  Homestead, Florida

South Dade Regional Library  10750 SW 211th. Street  Miami, Florida

NRC and USACE contacts:

Andrew J. Kugler, Sr. Environmental Project Manager  800-368-5642 x2828 

Tomeka Terry, Environmental Project Manager  800-368-5642 x1488 

Manny Comar, Lead Safety Project Manager  800-368-5642 x3863  

Megan Clouser, Sr. Project Manager US Army Corps of Engineers 

Need help with more information?

Citizens for Safe Energy, Inc.

Tropical Audubon Society

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Inc.

Get Involved in the Hearing:

Petition to Intervene – deadline to file is August 17, 2010  (Federal Register Notice 75 FR 34777). A digital certificate or waiver is required for filing a petition. Instructions for e-filing Allow 5 business days for obtaining the digital certificate.

Article in Eye on Miami 2009.

About Valerie J. Amor:
As an architectural consultant, LEED AP, LEED certification reviewer, real estate broker and AIA associate, Valerie J. Amor is dynamically engaged in sustainability and issues regarding the built environment. Actively participating in several local, county and national organizations and committees focused on sustainability issues, she is also owner/principal of Drawing Conclusions and founder/president of Green Collar Connection, companies engaged in sustainable design, real estate development, green job training and research. Knowledgeable and well connected she brings you timely and thoughtful articles. Reach her at .

No related posts.

Short URL:

Posted by Valerie J. Amor on Jul 20 2010. Filed under Broward County, Emerging Green, FPL, Health, Local news, Miami. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Proposed nuclear plants at Turkey Point, NRC accepting public comments til Aug. 16”

  1. [...] To learn more about FPL’s nuclear power plan, click here and here. [...]


Leave a Reply

Subscribe to for free!