Wednesday, September 03, 2014

FPL nuclear at Turkey Point: Miami-Dade County Commissioners have an obligation to speak up for the public and ASK what exactly is going on? … by gimleteye

FPL has a real problem at Turkey Point. It hasn't been able to cool, the cooling canal system. The consequence -- if the temperature reaches high enough -- will be a mandatory plant shutdown, forced by NRC regulations because of the rising risk to the public.

The aging reactors were recently uprated, approved by the NRC, to produce more power despite the well-known fact that the cooling canals have been failing for years. In other words, more heat needs to be removed through cooling canals designed to work like a self-contained radiator.

FPL says, "it's the hotter climate" (though in its application to the NRC for the NEW nuclear reactors it is saying that sea level rise will be small). Small contradiction. Meanwhile FPL has a major problem in its existing reactors: the self-contained radiator is no longer a radiator and it is no longer self-contained.

The latest problem -- we noted yesterday -- required response through an emergency order last week from the South Florida Water Management to withdraw an enormous amount of water from the Biscayne aquifer to attempt to cool the canal system.

Partly as a result of the temperature, at least 102 degrees, toxic algae is clogging the canals. FPL asked for and received permission to spray the canals with chemicals. So much for its good environmental stewardship at Turkey Point.

No one knows -- but FPL -- what is in the water exactly. FPL won't disclose it to the public although the public is subsidizing its request for 100 million gallons per day of fresh water.

FPL pledges there is no connectivity with the waters of Florida and Biscayne National Park, but there is plenty of evidence the canals are not containing the water. The Department of Interior is up in arms. In a tough-worded letter dated August 29th to the District, Biscayne National Park superintendent Brian Carlstrom wrote:

The environmentalists are up in arms. On August 28, the Everglades Law Center wrote on behalf of National Parks Conservation Association and Tropical Audubon, requesting that Miami-Dade County Commissioners hold a hearing on the water draw-down: "This is a significant amount of fresh water and a request for approval of a project of this magnitude requires broader analysis of the potential impacts, an opportunity for public participation and consideration by the Board of County Commissioners. The issuance of a permit on this application will have potentially significant impacts on the health of Biscayne Bay, Biscayne National Park, wetlands in the area and regional fresh water supply."

FPL's request to the water management district, highlighted yesterday, requires elaboration to the public and the people to ask FPL for the elaboration are Miami-Dade County Commissioners.

The plant operator is requesting the District provide 100 million gallons per day from the Biscayne aquifer. That's not far off the amount that the entire county -- 2.2 million residents -- uses in a day and disposes through the South Dade Water Treatment Plant, only a few miles from Turkey Point.

100 million gallons per day is about 600 full sized swimming pools. In the next forty five days -- until October 15 (who knows what happens then?), FPL will have taken the equivalent of 27,000 swimming pools filled with fresh water for its cooling canala.

Isn't it time that someone on the Miami-Dade County Commission showed the guts to ask of FPL: what the hell is going on? What's IN the cooling canal water and algae? Where ARE the monitoring wells in Biscayne Bay and what ARE they showing?

FPL Turkey Point operates like a state secret. Its lobbyists at County Hall ride roughshod over career staffers. Enough is enough. SOMEONE on the Miami-Dade County Commission needs to stand up, call FPL to account and to EXPLAIN exactly what is going on at Turkey Point, what is IN the water and why FPL -- through its proposed administrative order with the District -- is trying to dodge accountability for the RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPE showing up in the plume of water creeping towards and UNDER Homestead. Just ASK the damn questions!

Something is not working at FPL Turkey Point, but short of a lawsuit or a disaster -- how will the public ever know?


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see that. Another cute power point presentation by FPL. "All is well." Here's a suggestion for the county commission: require FPL to show its shiny powerpoint presentation before the BOCC meeting to individual commissioners and staffers. Let the commissioners then have the time to work with staffers and DERM to formulate questions that FPL employees (not Jeffrey Berkow) would have to answer on the spot. Enough of these dog and pony shows at County Hall!

Anonymous said...

If Gov. Rick Scott wasn't so busy pole-dancing for FPL this wouldn't be happening.

Anonymous said...

The county Commissioners don't have time to bother with the nuclear plant problems. They have to discuss how to build ever more museums on the waterfront, if FIU should boot out the Youth Fair and construction contracts proposed by lobbyists and developers for downtown Miami. Get real. Meanwhile the grass grows sky high in the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

They better find the time to deal with our future water supply and the health of Biscayne Bay...oh and lets be real, what really drives our economy here...People want to live in paradise and that requires protecting the Environment. I don't know if the commissioners have noticed but this plant in in-between two National Parks!

Anonymous said...

Miami has lowest quality of life in America according to analysis, and with Turkey Point, maybe the most toxic. Yeah the county commissioners should be involved.

Anonymous said...

Florida can be a powerhouse for solar power yet the state rank 16th in annual installations in the nation. Why are there little incentives for clean power and solar installation. Commissioners: create more incentives for solar and you will create a tens of thousands of new jobs and make Florida a leader in solar and clean energy production.

youbetcha' said...

Excuse me, governor Scott and our political friends are not pole-dancing ..... they are poll- dining.

Anonymous said...

Three local mayors have installed solar panels on their own houses. Two of them have eliminated their FPL bills. Follow their example and stop subsidizing bad energy decisions.