Skip to main content

FPL Testimony Rebutting Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's Claims on New Nuclear Plants

It's been two years since Florida Power & Light petitioned (pdf) their public service commission to receive approval to build two new nuclear plants at its Turkey Point facility. And two years later, the debate about the need for those reactors continues on.

Most recently, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy attempted to dissuade the Florida PSC for the need of those reactors in light of today's low natural gas prices, the economic downturn, and the potential passage of the Waxman-Markey climate bill. In response, FPL analyzed SACE's narrow claims and took them to town (pdf):
The purpose of my [Steven R. Sim] rebuttal testimony is to discuss and respond to a number of statements and recommendations made by Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) Witness Cooper who has filed testimony in this docket.
...
SACE’s witness Witness Cooper declares there is a high level of uncertainty in the future. Then, when reviewing FPL’s current economic analysis of Turkey Point 6 & 7, Witness Cooper - who does not appear to have any utility system planning or electric generation analytical background or experience - attempts to persuade the state of Florida to discontinue the on-going evaluation of this option which would provide emission-free, fossil fuel-free, capacity and energy at a 90% capacity factor for at least 40 years. He attempts to do so by choosing to suspend his belief in future uncertainty at carefully selected points. At those points he selects a specific futures forecast, or contentious pending legislation, as certain guideposts for how the future will unfold for the next 50 years. Finally, he offers no meaningful economic analysis that contradicts FPL's 2009 economic analyses, nor is he able to support his conclusion that other resources will improve FPL’s system fuel diversity more than new nuclear capacity.

Therefore, Witness Cooper’s recommendation that Florida stop its on-going evaluation of the new Turkey Point 6 & 7 nuclear units does not warrant serious consideration.
The rebuttal gets better from there. After reading it, it's quite apparent how much analysis goes in to deciding which plants get built and which do not. Utilities don't take the decision lightly to build billion dollar nuclear plants and this rebuttal makes that clear. Check it out, it's quite informative (pdf).

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 …