Hearing to focus on temperature at Turkey Point canal

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hear oral arguments on Jan. 14 in Homestead, Fla., on a challenge to license amendments that increase the water temperature limit for the cooling canal system of Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear plant.

The ASLB is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s independent body charged with conducting adjudicatory hearings and deciding legal challenges to the agency’s licensing and enforcement actions. FPL operates the two-unit Turkey Point plant near Homestead.

The oral argument is scheduled to commence at 9 a.m. on Jan. 14 at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 2855 NE 9th St., in Homestead.

A petitioner, Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, has filed four proposed contentions regarding the license amendments granted to FPL last fall that allowed the company to increase the ultimate heat sink water temperature for the plant’s external cooling canal system. CASE contends the higher temperatures will increase the salinity, tritium and chloride in the canal system to unsafe levels. The group further alleges that the change in the Turkey Point license damages the environment.

The Jan. 14 ASLB session will focus on whether CASE has legal standing and whether the four submitted contentions are admissible for further adjudication.

The oral argument session is open to the public, but the board will only hear arguments from counsel for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and FPL, or from authorized representatives for CASE, FPL and the NRC staff. As a result, no witnesses or members of the public will be heard. The board anticipates that the arguments will be completed by 5 p.m. on Jan. 14.