Skip to main content

The View from Turkey Point

turkey_point_3 Interesting doings in Florida today:

The Florida Public Service Commission rejected arguments from environmentalists and clean-energy advocates and voted 3-1 today to approve a request by Progress Energy, and Florida Power & Light, to charge customers for four new nuclear power plants that wouldn't generate any voltage until 2017.

It’s a first shot on this story and not completely accurate. True, four new units are involved. Two of them – Progress Energy’s – will be in Levy County – we wrote about them the other day. The other two – FPL’s - will be put in the existing plant at Turkey Point. In addition, FPL won approval to increase capacity at four units, two each at Turkey Point and St. Lucie. Likewise, Progress Energy will be able to increase capacity at one unit at Crystal River.

We’d also call the “clean-energy advocates” phrase a bit misleading since nuclear advocates could call themselves that with equal validity.

But why filter? We can go straight to the Florida Public Service Commission to see what they said:

“Nuclear power provides fuel diversity and will save Florida residents money on future utility bills,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II.  “The Legislature enabled utilities to plan for tomorrow by spreading the rate impact over time.  Utilities have to begin spending now to meet future power needs that will keep the lights on for us, our children, and our grandchildren at prices we can afford.”

Mr. Carter has given you Nuclear Power in a Nutshell; we offer a deep bow to him for hitting exactly the right note.

And here’s a bit more of what they did:

FPL’s approved $62,676,816 cost recovery includes costs associated with the uprate of its existing nuclear generating plants, Turkey Point Units 3 and 4 and St. Lucie Units 1 and 2, and the construction of its proposed nuclear power plants, Turkey Point Units 6 and 7. 

PEF’s approved $206,907,726 cost recovery includes costs associated with the uprate of its existing nuclear generating plant at Crystal River, and the construction of its proposed nuclear power plants, Levy Units 1 and 2. 

These figures cover the next year and have to be reapproved – we’re not exactly sure why, but it isn’t necessarily a bad idea. It allows the PSC to measure public feedback and progress made by the companies and to rule accordingly. But surely two years would be as workable and not send all the parties into battle mode so frequently. Even “clean energy advocates” need a breather.

Turkey Point. One of the nicer plant shots we’ve seen.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …