Critics: Turkey Point Sucking Us Dry

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Turkey Point nuclear power plant was busy splitting atoms by Biscayne Bay Wednesday, and just down the street a Nuclear Regulatory Commission appeals Board was hearing a challenge to the cooling system at Turkey point.

Water to cool the nuclear reactors is hot, as hot as 104 degrees at times. The nuclear regulatory commission has granted FPL a waiver, allowing the water to be hotter then regulations would normally allow.

Still, to keep the water even at the 104 degree limit, FPL has been allowed to pull as much as 100 million gallons of water a day from Everglades canals to cool the plant’s overheated cooling water.

Opponents say FPL, already sucking water from the aquifer-and now canals-is threatening environmental ruin.

Click here to watch Gary Nelson’s report. 

“The waters going to get more saline, it’s going to get denser, and it’s going to sink, and it’s going to further displace freshwater,” said Mayor Phillip Stoddard of South Miami. “It will mess up the Everglades and threaten the drinking water supply for Florida Keys residence.”

Miami-Dade farmer Mike Hatcher is among those battling FPL’s increased thirst.

“It’s the water that we drink, it’s the water that I and my fellow farmers use to grow the crops,” Hatcher said. “It’s the water that we use for recreation.”

FPL argues it is drawing more from the well with the approval of the state and the feds, and the company says it is moving to fix it’s hot water problems. A key element: Cleaning up their 168 miles of cooling canals.

“We’ve had muck and debris build up in the canals over the years,” said FPL spokesperson Bianca Cruz. “We are working to remove that debris.”

The process, however, will take years.

Barry White of the group Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, said citizens have reason to be worried.

“Eventually, they’ll pay for it in higher water bills and in the quality of life here,” White said. “There is not enough water and land to support so much.”

It is considered unlikely that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s appeals panel will overturn the agencies earlier decision. In any event, opponents vow to fight on. A decision from the panel is expected within a few weeks.

RELATED CONTENT:

More from Gary Nelson
Comments

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Miami

Get Your Daily DoseHere's some good news just for you.
CBS4 New Home For Florida Lottery

Watch & Listen LIVE