South Florida Officials To Fight State's Nuclear Plant Expansion Approval

May 14, 2014

Nuclear plant
Credit K Michiels via Flickr

The city of Miami has vowed to appeal this week’s decision by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet to approve building two nuclear reactors there. South Florida local government officials especially object to about 89 miles of transmission wires that would deliver the new power.

With the state’s approval, utility company Florida Power and Light must still get federal permits for its planned nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point facility bordering Biscayne Bay. Scott and his cabinet unanimously approved the request for the reactors and the above-ground wires stretching to the east and west across several towns. Village of Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner is among the outspoken critics, saying the wires would transform Pinecrest into an "industrial wasteland."

But Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says he welcomes the expansion of nuclear power to diversify the state’s energy use.

Soon, Florida Power and Light is expected to ask the Public Service Commission permission to collect almost $16 million from customers next year to help cover the cost of the Turkey Point permits. It can do so under a controversial 2006 state law that allows privately owned power companies to charge in advance for nuclear plants they haven't built yet. 

FP and L says it expects the two new reactors to give customers millions of dollars in fossil fuel savings.