Governor Scott and Cabinet approve new south Florida nuclear reactors

05/13/14 AP
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Tags: nuclear power, nuclear energy, nukes, Rick Scott, Florida Power & Light, Florida Cabinet

Florida Governor Rick Scott and the three members of the Cabinet are green lighting a plan to build two nuclear reactors in South Florida.

Scott and the state's three other elected officials on Tuesday voted in favor of the plan that would allow Florida Power & Light to add nuclear generators at its existing Turkey Point facility near Homestead. The project would add approximately 2,200 megawatts of power or enough for an estimated 750,000 homes.

The state's largest utility also got approval for nearly 90 miles of new power lines to carry electricity from the plant.

Several members of the public spoke in favor of the project. About a dozen elected officials and citizens opposed it, including Laura Reynolds, who represents Tropical Audubon Society.

Several cities in Miami-Dade County opposed the new FPL nuclear reactors. A city of Miami attorney said the city will challenge the decision.

Federal regulators must sign off on the project before construction could begin.

"The amount of water it takes to operate nuclear power is a concern for the state, I think. I think if we're pursuing energy that's very water intensive and on the same token we're spending, potentially, $22 billion to restore the Everglades for drinking water for 1/3 of the state you're sort of in direct conflict there. Just as far as your decision today where you're looking at 'is this in the public interest?' and I assure that our water and the cost of it is directly related to our economy, so I want you to take that into consideration today. I think the best solution for that is to make sure that there is an NRC approval before anything is done in the state. They are looking at a number of these issues and that information is not available yet. Second, at all costs, we should keep the power lines out of Everglades National Park. This is an international treasure, it's a biosphere reserve, and as a biologist it has a special place in my heart, personally."

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