Nuclear Issues Heating Up in the Sunshine State!

August 27, 2009 at 11:22 pm 6 comments

Public Hearings Coming Soon!

As you probably know, Progress Energy and Florida Power and Light (FP&L) are each proposing two nuclear reactors here in the Sunshine. What Progress and FP&L don’t want you to know is the estimated $41 billion price tag for these four reactors. Even worse, they want you and I to pick up the bill! Progress already increased monthly rates an average of $25 per month this past January, with another proposed increase for the upcoming year. FP&L is currently proposing a 30% rate increase. All of this is allowed through Early Cost Recovery, which can be roughly translated into ‘this is too risky to pay for, so let’s take the customer’s money without returning any of those pesky shareholder benefits, guarantees of productivity, or refunds.’

Florida youth have had enough and are calling for Action by organizing attendance at important hearings in the next 2 weeks. If you are still unsure about nuclear, please consider the following:

Nuclear power is expensive and diverts attention and energy from truly renewable and clean energy sources. If the reactors are approved, they won’t produce energy until 2018. Nuclear Information and Resource Service and the Florida Ecology and Green Parties have intervened in the licensing process. If successful, the intervention would prevent the plant from being built. All the while, we still need energy security and climate safety. We cannot afford to wait on this false solution. We need to invest in efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy NOW!

To add insult to injury, nuclear power is also extremely water intensive, using an estimated 50 Million gallons of water per day per reactor. Nearly 75 percent of that is not recycled and lost through evaporation. With severe droughts persisting throughout parts of Florida and the region, we cannot afford to continue ignoring the impact energy choices have on our precious water supply.

The current plan is to keep part of the waste in-state. With Florida’s 1800 miles of coastline and vulnerability to hurricanes and flooding, I have serious questions about how wise that decision truly is.

If this information is alarming to you, SPEAK out at the meetings and hearings that are coming up in these next two weeks. DEMAND answers to questions about waste and water and safety. STAND UP against utilities dipping into your pockets to fund this risky nuclear business. Join with others around the state who refuse to sit idly as this unfolds. Don’t forget to bring your friends!

On the Siting of the Turkey Point Florida Power and Light Reactors
Host: Miami-Dade & South Florida Regional Planning Council

8/31/09 6:30 pm Homestead, FL
City of Homestead City Council Chambers
790 North Homestead Blvd

9/2/09 6:30 pm Coral Gables, FL
Bank United Center, U of Miami
Hurricane 100 Room
1245 Dauer Drive

On Early Cost Recovery:
Tallahassee, FL 9/8/09 9:30-1:00
Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd
Hearing Room 148
Public comment allowed at this session, hearing will continue for the rest of the week.

For more information and talking points, please contact


Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. R Margolis  |  August 31, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    The discussion of water use looks like it has combined cooling tower numbers with open loop values. 75% water evaporation is the fraction from cooling towers. However, cooling towers use less water throughput overall. Open loop cooling uses approximately 17 million gal/day per reactor, but evaporates about 1% of the water.

    Nuclear energy is certainly controversial, but the thermodynamics is straight-forward. 🙂

  • 2. Mandy Hancock  |  August 31, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for the clarification. The complex nature of nuclear energy technology, combined with the state and federal processes, and the related issues of weapons proliferation, environmental impacts, and health implications can sometimes confuse me on intricacies such as these. Thanks again, and I apologize for the oversight 🙂

    • 3. R Margolis  |  September 1, 2009 at 1:05 am

      I must also apologize for getting one number mixed up. Here are the use and consumption for an average size nuclear plant:

      For once through cooling, ~1.3 billion gal/day is used with ~13 million gal/day consumed.

      For cooling towers, ~23 million gal/day is used with ~17 million gal/day consumed.

      Finally, ALL of the thermal power plants (coal, oil, gas, and nuclear) combined consume ~3% of the US fresh water supply.

      Sorry again for any confusion I have caused. Part of the confusion is keeping track of total throughput (water withdrawal) versus evaporation and other forms of consumption.

      Please let me know if you have any other technical questions on electric power. I’ll check my thermo book next time. 😉

  • 4. Mandy Hancock  |  September 1, 2009 at 1:07 am

    I would be interested to see the sources for the less than 3% number you cite here. Thanks!

  • 5. R Margolis  |  September 1, 2009 at 2:46 am

    The National Renewable Enrgy Laboratory gives an evaporation fraction of 2.5% evaporated of the water throughput in power generation:

    (page 8 of the pdf)

  • 6. R Margolis  |  September 1, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Also, please see page 14 of the following USGS report:

    You will see a breakdown of consumptive use which shows the 2.5% evaporation corresponds to a 3.3% consumption value. Hope all of this helped.


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