Study: FPL Nuclear Plant Canals Leaking Into Biscayne Bay

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A new study found high levels of a radioactive isotope in Biscayne Bay, confirming suspicions Turkey Point’s aging canals are leaking into the national park.

The isotope is said to be linked to water from the power plant’s cooling canals, according to our news partners at the Miami Herald.

The study, released Monday, by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez , shows water samples in December and January had high levels of tritium – about 215 times higher than that of normal ocean water.

The report does not address any possible risks to the public or marine life but tritium is usually monitored as a “tracer” for nuclear power plant spills or leaks.

The release of the study comes two weeks after a Tallahassee judge ordered Florida Power and Light and state to clean up Turkey Point’s canals after concluding the canals caused a massive underground saltwater plume to expand west. It’s something that could possibly threaten a well that supplies drinking water to the Florida Keys.

The judge had also found the state failed to address the pollution issue.

The latest study raises questions among critics who have long suspected the canals at the plant were running too hot and salty the summer after FPL overhauled to reactors to produce more power — possibly polluting the bay.

County commissioners ordered additional monitoring of the bay last year. The commission is scheduled to take up the canals issue along with another study from the University of Miami at a meeting on Tuesday.

FPL officials declined to comment to the paper on Monday.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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