The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have issued a report indicating there will be no environmental impacts that would stop development of two new nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point plant near Miami.
Specifically, new cooling towers for the new reactors should not cause any damage to the ecosystem of Biscayne Bay.
The report noted the NRC staff continues to work on the project’s final safety evaluation report, which will include a review by the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.
The review came after aging cooling canals at the facility leaked hypersalinated water into the bay in 2014. Florida Power & Light senior director Steve Scroggs said the utility drains 15 million gallons of hypersaline water per day, or seven million pounds of salt per day, from under the cooling canals and disposing it back into the deep well, according to a report from the Miami Herald.
NRC’s ruling is another step in the lengthy process to bring two new reactors to Turkey Point. In 2014, FPL received state approval to build two reactors totaling 2,200-MW of capacity at a cost of $12 billion to $18 billion. However, the process was slowed after the cooling canal leak sparked lawsuits and increased scrutiny from regulators.
Earlier this year, PFL announced construction on the new reactors would be delayed to at least 2020.