New Nuclear Plants in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Florida’s Governor and Cabinet approved plans from the state’s biggest utility to build two new nuclear plants in the southern part of the state. But as Matt Galka tells us, the move didn’t come with support from cities that will be directly effected.

Florida is one step closer to adding two new nuclear power plants. Peter Robbins of Florida Power and Light says FPL has been seeking to build two new nuclear power plants in Miami Dade County since 2006. “It’s about 3 billion dollars a year in fuel savings. It’s a huge number, that’s one of the great things about nuclear power, the fuel is very cheap and the cost of the fuel is very stable.”

FPL already charges customers about 46 cents a month while they pursue the project. That is expected to go down to 16 cents a month. But the price could shoot up if and when building begins. Duke energy scrapped its Levy County nuclear plant plans, but customers are still paying for it.

The Governor and cabinet heard more than two hours of testimony from people wanting to cut the power on the plan. South Miami mayor Phillip Stoddard said he’s very concerned about safety. “Well you couldn’t find a worse place to build two new nuclear power plants that are between two national parks on a piece of land that is going to become an island in the next century.”

Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner doesn’t want the proposed 88 miles of new transmission lines going through her city. “I call them monstrosities, I don’t believe they’re anything else.”

The Governor said they didn’t have many options but to approve the plan. “The siting board, has limited things we can accomplish. So we listened. I’m glad that Florida Power and Light is going to work with local communities.”

FPL says it shooting for the plants to come online in 2022.

Florida Power and Light still needs to gain Federal approval before they can begin building. They estimate the project to cost between 12 and 18 billion dollars, which critics say is shooting low.