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3 unplanned shutdowns- Turkey Point nuclear station vulnerable to climate extremes

Critics have pushed Turkey Point and the NRC to take sea rise impacts more seriously, Lyman said.

“We think nuclear plants need to be protected not only against the flood hazards that are reasonably expected today but far into the future, especially plants that have a license renewal like Turkey Point,” he said. “Unfortunately, the NRC today is not interested in increasing regulatory requirements for its current fleet.” 

After 3 unplanned shutdowns at Turkey Point nuclear plant, feds launch ‘special inspection’, Miami Herald BY ADRIANA BRASILEIRO AND ALEX HARRIS, SEPTEMBER 01, 2020 After three unplanned nuclear reactor shutdowns over three days this month, federal regulators have launched a “special inspection” at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point plant.

In a statement issued Monday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it was inspecting the plant this week to determine why one of the reactors in the two-unit facility “tripped” or shut down three times between Aug. 17 and Aug. 19. Such visits from the federal agency that oversees nuclear power plants aren’t unheard of but are unusual.

The NRC said FPL had supplied different explanations for each event………..

Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists, called the number of scrams “very unusual,” in a whole year, much less a few days. He said the NRC has a specific set of criteria plants must meet before they need a special investigation.

“These inspections are fairly rare events,” he said. “This could be a sign that they think there is some increase in risk to the public.”

Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists, called the number of scrams “very unusual,” in a whole year, much less a few days. He said the NRC has a specific set of criteria plants must meet before they need a special investigation.

“These inspections are fairly rare events,” he said. “This could be a sign that they think there is some increase in risk to the public.”………..

Over the past few years FPL has faced criticism and legal challenges over Turkey Point’s aging cooling system, a unique canal network that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the U.S. The problems from the leaking canal water, which created a saltwater plume encroaching into the adjacent freshwater aquifer, have led state and county regulators to cite FPL for polluting the waters in Biscayne Bay.

The plant last year won federal approval to continue to operate through at least 2053 — an unprecedented decision by regulators to extend the operating lifespan of nuclear reactors to 80 years.

The extended approval also brings up concerns of sea level rise and the increased storm surge that comes with it. By the end of this plant’s current license, Miami-Dade is planning for just under two feet of sea-level rise. Turkey Point is planning for between a half foot and a little over a foot by 2050.

Critics have pushed Turkey Point and the NRC to take sea rise impacts more seriously, Lyman said.

“We think nuclear plants need to be protected not only against the flood hazards that are reasonably expected today but far into the future, especially plants that have a license renewal like Turkey Point,” he said. “Unfortunately, the NRC today is not interested in increasing regulatory requirements for its current fleet.”  The plant last year won federal approval to continue to operate through at least 2053 — an unprecedented decision by regulators to extend the operating lifespan of nuclear reactors to 80 years.

The extended approval also brings up concerns of sea level rise and the increased storm surge that comes with it. By the end of this plant’s current license, Miami-Dade is planning for just under two feet of sea-level rise. Turkey Point is planning for between a half foot and a little over a foot by 2050.

Critics have pushed Turkey Point and the NRC to take sea rise impacts more seriously, Lyman said.

“We think nuclear plants need to be protected not only against the flood hazards that are reasonably expected today but far into the future, especially plants that have a license renewal like Turkey Point,” he said. “Unfortunately, the NRC today is not interested in increasing regulatory requirements for its current fleet.”  https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article245384945.html?fbclid=IwAR2h6Kk7IV87lRlc0HWNgR42aIVowxmKXeijJzIwcPyUADkGEUIngnV2xHo

September 3, 2020 - Posted by | climate change, USA

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