An Open Letter to Florida Power and Light: St. Lucie Unit 2 Nuclear Reactor

Stephen Smith | March 12, 2014 | Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, Nuclear, Utilities

Dear Mr. Silagy,

As the President of Florida’s largest utility, with monopoly control over a significant part of the state and over 4 million captive customers, I respectfully ask that you address three important issues regarding Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) St. Lucie Unit 2 nuclear reactor.

  • Why is the steam generator tube damage at St. Lucie Unit 2 the worst in the nation and why is that damage significantly worse than St. Lucie Unit 1?
  • Why did FPL fail to fully publicly disclose the significant modifications made to the St. Lucie Unit 2 steam generators when they were replaced? If this is not the case, please provide documentation demonstrating this public disclosure.
  • Do you expect the damaged Unit 2 steam generators to operate for their full service life? Please confirm for the record that the damage occurring to the Unit 2 steam generators, which you claim is insignificant, will not force premature removal of these critical components at ratepayer expense. FPL customers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars already with these replacements. Can you assure FPL customers that they will not have to bear the cost of FPL’s imprudent decisions that led to modification of the now increasingly-damaged steam generators?

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has brought forward very well documented evidence to the public and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in filings submitted earlier this week: an expert declaration from a nuclear engineer, our hearing request and a stay motion. Articles written by the Tampa Bay Times about the reactor can also be reviewed herehere and here.

Source: Tampa Bay Times on 2/22/14, information from U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission & FPL

Your company has not addressed the merits of our case, instead relying upon a public “attack the messenger” approach. All FPL public responses have been diversions from the real issues of concern, ensuring the safe operation of St. Lucie Unit 2, the proper regulatory oversight by the NRC and protecting FPL ratepayers from imprudent decision-making by your company. As a monopoly provider, your customers do not have a choice for their electric power, therefore it is incumbent on FPL to be transparent about how you run your business and make decisions that affect both the safety and pocketbooks of many Florida citizens.

Lastly Mr. Silagy, if you are so certain there is no safety issue and no increased damage to the tubes from the uprate, then why won’t you share the results of the inspection with the public before you bring the reactor back online? That is all we are asking. If you are right, then what do you have to hide? It is your lack of transparency that is troubling.

Just the facts, not the attacks please.

 

Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has 30 years of experience effecting change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as its executive…
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