Even with anti-environmentalist Rick Scott at the helm, the State is FINALLY taking action against Turkey Point for the salinity of their cooling canals. How are they going to fix it? Well, Next Error, what are you going to do? I'll tell you what they are going to do: F--k up something else, maybe even Biscayne Bay.
According to a Miami Herald article in September:
Hotter water can lead to saltier canals. This summer, salt levels have been about 50 percent higher than normal and twice the salinity of the nearby bay. Salinity is potentially more worrisome since the area’s salt front has already crept farther inland than in other parts of the county, threatening area drinking wells.The salinity was as high as 90, now they say it is about 60. The DEP wants it at 34.
The state is currently revising its regulations on how the canals operate. Part of the revisions eliminate strict monitoring imposed when the plant was expanded. But county commissioners agreed Tuesday that the canal problems point to the need for even more monitoring.
Barry White had more to say to clarify what is going on:
FPL is regulated by Federal and State authorities.The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Long ago the NRC gave regulation to the land side of Turkey Point Nuclear Units 3 & 4 to the FDEP. Currently Miami-Dade County and other local interests are challenging, or thinking about challenging, a ruling (Administrative Order/AO) issued by FDEP on December 23, 2014 directing FPL to take certain actions at Turkey Point to correct the problems in the cooling canals. Those filings would be before the FDEP which would be heard by a Florida State administrative law judge panel.
But Citizens Allied for Safe Energy (CASE) filed a motion before the Federal NRC in October, 2014 contending that the real problem is the uprate (increase in operating temperature) to Nuclear Reactors Units 3 & 4 done in 2012/2013; FPL’s own data show that the problems occurred after the uprate. But, because the State agencies (FDEP and SFWMD) can only issue orders regarding the land, not the reactors themselves, even if the reactors are the problem. And NRC Staff says they do not have control over the land, the State does.
On January 14, 2015 in Homestead CASE argued before three judges sent down by the NRC to hear its contentions that this finger pointing is the problem. There is responsibility without authority, and authority without responsibility. CASE held that the NRC has final responsibility for everything under the 1954 and 1974 Federal Acts which created them. The judges have 45 days from the hearing to rule. CASE suggested that the reactors be scaled back in their operation until an independent inquiry of scientists and engineers can determine what are the real problems.
Freshwater is the real problem; there is not enough to keep the cooling canals functional and to do what freshwater has done for eons; hold back saltwater intrusion, provide habitat for hatchling and juvenile sea life in the Biscayne Bay estuary and to provide fresh water for agriculture and to sustain human and plant life. Ultimately CASE would like to see no energy produced at Turkey Point with the land cleaned up and returned to nature, with renewable energy on our homes, businesses and institutions and energy conservation practiced widely.
Barry J. White
Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, Inc./CASE