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NRC Freezes Reactor Construction and Operating Licenses in US

August 7, 2012: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has put a hold on nine construction and operating licenses, eight license renewals, one new license and one early site permit! Many of the reactor projects were sidetracked by the problems facing the the industry including skyrocketing costs and the availability of cheaper energy alternatives, but this makes it official that the NRC has to consider the environmental impacts of highly radioactive waste storage and disposal.

Making this happen took the June 8th decision of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and the June 18 petition filed by 24 groups (including Sierra Club, Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and other groups who were intervenors in licensing proceedings in Florida).
You can read the full story of this at NRC Freezes

Nuclear Power Plants Paid for By You

Florida Law requires that you, the citizen, pay the billions of dollars of cost for new nuclear reactors in Florida. Florida Power and Light has the go-ahead from city and state officials to take your money and build two new generators at Turkey Point, right on the edge of Biscayne Bay and Everglades National Park.

Sierra Club and other groups of citizens are pressuring the NRC, through the courts, to take a hard look at the issues of expanding Turkey Point and storing nuclear waste on site in such a sensitive area.

Green Energy Facts and Figures

Solar power is cheaper today than nuclear power, without incentives.
The price of solar energy is NOW cheaper than nuclear power, according to a Duke University study. 2010/07/NCW-SolarReport_final1.pdf

Renewable energy like solar and wind power now generates over 11% of America’s total energy,the same as nuclear power. The prices for solar are falling rapidly.

Florida Power and Light invests in solar and renewable energy in other locations. NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) - formerly known as FPL group, the parent company of Florida Power & Light - is currently the largest owner and operator of wind turbines in the US, and second in the world....AND a co-owner of the SEGS solar power plants, the largest solar array in the world.

Government incentives encourage FPL to build nuclear reactors.
1. Gave them pre-approval for 2 new nuclear plants at a cost of $30-35 billion.
2. FL statute 366.93 specifies cost recovery for the siting, design, licensing and construction of nuclear power plants.
3. Rate-payers - us - pay up front for infrastructure & planning even if the plant never gets built

Nuclear plants require excessive amounts of water.
Located between 2 threatened and highly stressed nation parks, Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, the 2 new nuclear reactors will require 3 million gal/day new fresh water. Sucking this water out of the aquifer will cause salt water intrusion into the wetlands and damage Biscayne Bay with increased salinity. Miami-Dade, and Broward Counties are under water restrictions now because of severe drought.

Spent nuclear fuel rods are kept in pools on site at Turkey Point and other power plants because there is no place else to put them. Estimates are 88,000 lbs/year.

There are documented increased risk of Leukemia and Alzheimer's based on proximity to power lines. The US Dept of Justice, US Census Bureau, WHO, and CDC show these numbers: Relative risk of leukemia when living near power lines, for children age 0-14 is 1 in 800 (for near = 0-164ft), outside that range it is 1 in 1600. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows a higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease in those living near power lines in a study of the Swiss population.

America Needs a Clean Energy Bill

Sierra Club is asking the President and Congress to pass an energy bill that: creates clean energy jobs, makes polluters pay for the carbon pullution that causes climate change, provides consumers vulnerable populations and those living in poverty with assistance for energy costs.

Millions of Americans, many of them standing in unemployment lines, already hold the most commonly needed job skills for global warming solutions, Strong, comprehensive energy and climate legislation will put them back to work, retaining and creating millions of good, clean energy jobs in both the revitalized manufacturing and construction sector and the new clean energy industries of tomorrow. It will make sure that even when the price for dirty energy goes up, consumers, vulnerable populations and those living in poverty will be protected through an energy tax credit, financial assistance and the investments necessary to make our homes, schools, offices, and factories significantly more energy efficient.

Many of these green jobs--building wind turbines, installing solar panels, renovating buildings to make them more energy efficient, constructing the Smart Grid--are jobs that can't be outsourced and can make America a world economic leader. We will level the playing field to protect those jobs that face global competition from countries with weaker standards than ours. With a new, smart investment policy, we’ll make our homes, schools, offices, and factories more energy efficient, stabilizing or even driving down energy costs.

We must be sure that we transform our economy into one that works well and works for everyone. A climate and energy bill must include protections and assistance for vulnerable populations and those living in poverty, ensure a just transition for displaced workers, and help encourage international action. A cleaner environment also drives down health costs and increases productivity.

Impassioned crowd tells the National Park Service - Just Say No!

  An impassioned standing-room-only crowd told park managers and a
  Department of Interior attorney to reject a plan to place 15 story-tall
  power lines along the edge of Everglades National Park. Twenty-nine of
  the 30 public speakers, wearing NO powerline stickers, objected to the
  70 powerlines, that Florida Power and Light (FPL) is proposing to install.
  The only speaker in favor was FPL.

  Superintendent Dan Kimball drew fire from livid park users about why
  the Park would even consider the action. Some speakers asked if
  tourists would enjoy coming to a park with an “industrial horizon.”
  Many asked why the Park had even allowed the situation to get to
  this point. Others were concerned about what this precedent would
  mean to other national parks.

-Coky Michel of Miami is up front protesting (front left),

The meeting was the first step of an Environmental Impact Statement to review the plan to envelope the eastern edge of the park with high voltage lines to service two proposed additional nuclear power reactors at Turkey Point. According to a Park report, "...wetland-dependent bird species, such as raptors, wading birds, waterfowl and passerines, are likely to be negatively impacted by the proposed power lines."

The Mayor of Pinecrest Cindy Lerner, whose community is also fighting powerlines, called the Park plan “an aberration” and expressed support for those in the audience. The plan involves swapping the existing utility corridor that the Park has failed to acquire since it expanded 22 years ago. Legislation enabling the Park to pursue the swap that would allow construction of the power lines was placed into the 2009 Omnibus Public Lands bill.

National Groups such as Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Clean Water Action and the Izaak Walton League joined by Tropical Audubon Society spoke against the powerline plan and one organization, South Florida Wildlands Association said it was already preparing to sue. NPCA delivered several boxes full of thousands of comments against the powerline plan.
- Jonathan Ullman, South Florida/Everglades Organizing Representative
Sierra Club

Sierrans take to their kayaks to protest the Turkey Point Expansion Plan

On April 30th, a mock emergency evacuation was staged on the shores of Biscayne Bay, to draw attention to the concerns of local citizens and environmental groups about the Turkey Point expansion plans. Save it Now, Glades!, Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, SF Wildlands Association and the Sierra Club brought members out with fake emergency gear, protest signs, and watercraft to make their point.

FPL has applied for permission to add two new nuclear reactors to the Turkey Point facilities. The Sierra Club is opposed to this plan to spend upwards of $20 billion for reactors that will use water we don’t have, destroy wetlands we need, and add to the risk of nuclear materials stored in a hurricane zone on the coast. More than just environmental activists were out protesting. Since Florida law allows FPL and other investor-owned utilities to shift the risk and cost of building plants from shareholders to customers, the FPL consumers were out with signs as well. Don’t Charge Me, More Solar, less Nuke, and Save Our Water, they said.

Sierra feels that future demands should be met with more energy efficiency, alternative energy technology, and much safer systems than what we have at Turkey Point, where FPL still has spent fuel in holding ponds on the property so close to Biscayne Bay and on top of our drinking water aquifer.

Photo by Stephen Malagodi

Sierra Club Opposes FP&L Turkey Point Power Plant Expansion

Sierra Club Florida has approved a resolution in opposition to the proposed Florida Power & Light Turkey Point nuclear facility expansion. The resolution speaks to Club energy policy and the unique impacts facility expansion would cause in South Florida, including Everglades and Biscayne Bay National Parks, and the regional aquifer.

Background: Sierra Club has a standing commitment to the protection of south Florida ecosystems and the restoration of the Everglades. The commitment includes leadership on hydrological improvements, such as the raising of Tamiami Trail, and legal action to protect the integrity of the Biscayne Aquifer.

You can download the full text of the resolution Here

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