This blog was written by Sara Barczak, former Regional Advocacy Director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.Guest Blog | September 15, 2015 | Energy Policy, Nuclear
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, SACE will be posting a series of blogs highlighting issues that impact Latino communities throughout the Southeast. This is the first blog in that series, and please stay tuned for more entries throughout the month. To view this blog in Spanish, click here.
Over the last several months, much attention has been paid to FPL’s controversial proposal to potentially build two water-intensive new nuclear reactors with a price tag approaching $20 billion at their existing, two-reactor Turkey Point nuclear plant in Miami-Dade County, about 25 miles south of Miami.
Earlier this year the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that recommended licensing the reactors and requested public comments. Three well-attended public hearings were held, one in Miami the day President Obama visited the Everglades to discuss climate change, and two in Homestead. SACE’s George Cavros presented compelling comments in Miami in which several local mayors, state and elected officials, community leaders and others voiced opposition to the licensing of the reactors.
If approved, the two reactors, which may operate for 60 or more years, would make Turkey Point one of the largest nuclear plants in the country, would require using massive amounts of water and degrade water quality, threaten the drinking water supply and jeopardize critical wildlife habitat for neighboring Biscayne National Park and ongoing Everglades restoration efforts.
Florida has far better energy choices. Energy efficiency not only can help customers save money on their electric bills by reducing their energy use, but it is also the lowest cost resource in meeting electricity demand at an investment of less than 3 cents per kWh. This is a fraction of the levelized cost of the proposed reactors, which is almost 17 cents per kWh.
There are opportunities for concerned members of the public to oppose this project that, if built, will impact surrounding communities and FPL customers’ electric utility bills. These reactors are not the answer to Florida’s energy needs.
Please sign this petition (en Espanol) opposing the federal licensing of the proposed reactors and spread the word. It is long past time for the big power companies, elected officials, regulators and others to realize that Floridians want clean, safe affordable energy options, such as solar and energy efficiency, that are not vulnerable to the threats posed by climate change.