NRC issues draft enviro review of two new Turkey Point reactors

A new environmental impact statement (EIS) presents the results of a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission environmental review of an application from Florida Power and Light for a combined construction permit and operating license (combined license or COL) for two new nuclear units at the Turkey Point site in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

The NRC said in a notice to be published in the March 5 Federal Register that it will take comment on this draft EIS until May 22.  As part of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public comment process, the Corps will publish a public notice in the Federal Register within 30 days of the publication of this draft EIS to solicit comments from the public regarding FPL’s Clean Water Act permit application for proposed work at the Turkey Point site. The NRC and the Corps will hold public meetings to present an overview of the draft EIS and to accept public comments on both the document and the Corps permit in April 2015, in the Homestead, Florida area.

In June 2009, Florida Power and Light (FPL) submitted an application to the NRC for a combined construction permit and operating license for Turkey Point Units 6 and 7. In this EIS, the review team evaluates the environmental effects of the construction and operation of two Westinghouse AP1000 PWRs at the Turkey Point site, each with thermal power ratings of 3,415 MW(t). Turkey Point Units 6 and 7 would be located on the same site as the existing Turkey Point site, which has five other power units, including two nuclear reactors.

Turkey Point Units 1 and 2 have been operated as natural-gas/oil steam-generating units. Unit 2 was recently converted to operate in synchronous condenser mode. Unit 1 will be converted to operate in synchronous condenser mode in 2016, the draft EIS noted. In the synchronous condenser mode, the generators help stabilize and optimize grid performance but do not generate power. Units 3 and 4 are nuclear pressurized water reactors (PWRs), and Unit 5 is a natural-gas combined-cycle steam-generating unit.

To connect proposed Units 6 and 7 to the power grid, two new 500 kV circuits and three new 230 kV circuits are proposed. FPL proposes to build the new transmission lines originating from a proposed new onsite substation (Clear Sky substation) and connecting to the existing Levee substation (500 kV circuits), and to the existing Turkey Point, Davis, and Pennsuco substations (230 kV circuits). Two major corridors are proposed—the West and the East corridors—and several transmission lines are proposed within these corridors.

Said FPL parent NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) about this project in its Feb. 20 annual Form 10-K report: “FPL’s need petition for two additional nuclear units at its Turkey Point site was approved by the [Florida Public Service Commission] in 2008 and FPL is moving forward with activities necessary to obtain all permits, licenses and approvals necessary for construction and operation of the units. The two units are expected to add a total of approximately 2,200 MW of capacity. The timing of commercial operation will be subject to various regulatory approvals from the FPSC and other agencies which will be required throughout the licensing and development processes and the nuclear units are expected to be placed in-service in 2027 and 2028. The NRC has indicated that its consideration of the licenses for the two units will be complete by early 2017.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.