Previous blog by Eye on Miami, response by Barry White:
Mr. Silagy, are we to ignore the up to 100 million gallons per day of freshwater from the L-31E canal which the South Florida Water Management District has authorized FPL to withdraw and the over one billion gallons of it which it has used to bring the canals down to a very low but ultimately unsustainable level?
And, while the tritium you speak of, at that level is of more subtle harm to humans (see below), it is very harmful to mollusks and other sea life. But, more importantly, as a tracer, it confirms, what has already been well
documented, that water from the Turkey Point Cooling Canal System, classified by the State of Florida as an industrial waste facility (IWF) into which FPL dumps every type of noxious chemical, including the cleansing chemicals for the reactors, is flowing not only to the west, but also to he east into Biscayne National Park and into the Biscayne Bay Estuary carrying with it ammonia and phosphorus.
The energy of the beta particle emitted during radioactive decay of tritium is the lowest energy of any radioactive isotope. This means that your dead skin cells will absorb the particle before is causes any damage to living tissue, so exposure to elevated (above natural) levels of tritium outside the body is not of much concern. However drinking water with elevated levels of tritium could be a cause for concern because then the beta particle produced during decay is adsorb by living human tissue where it can cause damage to cells.
Nitrogen (ammonia) and phosphate are two key nutrients required to fuel algal growth and phytoplankton blooms in aquatic ecosystems. Elevated beyond natural levels, nutrients harm seagrass beds and corals by promoting the growth of algae and microgalgae that smother sea grass and choke out light preventing effective photosynthesis and ultimately die-off of seagrass beds. In Southeast Florida, plant and algal growth in the bay ecosystems is phosphate-limited and reef ecosystems nitrogen-limited. Thus, in Biscayne Bay, our greatest concern would be unnatural elevation in phosphate in nearshore waters. Elevation in phosphate is predicted to foster algal blooms that damage or kill seagrass beds in Biscayne Bay, the health of which are critical for a functioning marine ecosystem. For this reason, the leaching or flushing of phosphate from the Turkey Point Cooling Canal System into Biscayne Bay appears to represent a direct threat to the marine ecosystem health of Biscayne National Park.
So, what your Miami Herald public relations full page ad, paid for by your stock holders according to the ad, did not say is far more important that what it did say.
Bottom line, with which FPL is well acquainted: the Turkey Point Cooling Canal System is an insult and tragedy to the Turkey Point Wetland and to the wild life and ecology of the entire area (crocodiles have abandoned the canals) by increasing salt water intrusion directly and indirectly, by threatening the water supply for the entire Florida Keys, the agricultural and rock mining interests, the fishing industry for which Biscayne Bay is the nursery, and befouling the freshwater supply for two million people. What part of FPL’s facts and pride does this fit into?
Barry J. White
President - Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, Inc/CASE - Miami