After a seven-year assessment, federal regulators have given a key environmental approval to two new nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station near Biscayne Bay in South Florida situated between two National Parks.
The approval came after a 1,200-page report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found the use of cooling towers at the new reactors would do no damage to the fragile marine ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Florida Power & Light (FPL), the owner of the new reactors, is developing a plan to solve problems related to leaks from its cooling canals from its existing nuclear units at the site. A new well is being completed to refresh the canals and prevent the migration of heavy, hyper-salty water into local aquifers, water wells, and canals.
FPL is not expected to begin construction of the new reactors until 2020. By this time new reactors under construction in Georgia and South Carolina are expected to be completed so FPL can better gauge the total costs of building new reactors. In addition, by 2020 the efficacy of FPL’s fix of the existing cooling canals can be judged.
Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.