Renewable energy is better than FPL’s nuclear power lines

07/23/2014 7:03 PM

07/23/2014 7:04 PM

In his July 15 letters Bury FPL’s high-voltage transmission lines, former South Miami mayor Horace Feliu insists that the city of South Miami should pay the $18 million that FPL demands in order to underground the high-voltage transmission lines it proposes on U.S. 1 to support a pair of nuclear plants.

And this is even before these nuclear plants receive approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Feliu says that South Miami can finance this $18 million cost through a combination of elevated FPL franchise fees and bonds. However, he fails to note that FPL franchise fees, like bond payments, are paid by the residents, not by FPL. The $18 million, equivalent to a full year’s budget for the city, would be a crushing cost to South Miami regardless of how our residents were to pay it back.

Feliu then says that anyone who believes that renewable energy can provide for our energy needs “lives in La-La Land,” and that nuclear power at Turkey Point is the only answer.

Has he looked at Turkey Point lately? The 168 miles of hot, hypersaline cooling canals have filled with slimy green cyanobacteria since FPL charged us $3 billion to turn up the heat inside its aging nuclear reactors. The green slime is bad for the complex plumbing inside the nuclear plants, and hot water can’t cool the reactors effectively.

Nuclear plants shutting down because of hot cooling water is an increasingly common problem that will only get worse with global warming.

FPL proposes poisoning the cyanobacteria with toxic metals, diluting the green soup at Turkey Point with polluted water pumped from the Floridan aquifer and getting out from under the clean-water requirements of the Everglades cleanup initiative. Scientists traced radioactive tritium leaking from the Turkey Point reactors and proved that the hypersaline water in the cooling canals is not staying put — it’s migrating underground toward the wells that supply drinking water to the Keys.

Meanwhile, here in “La-La Land,” I cut my electricity bill 50 percent through energy-efficiency upgrades, and I have installed solar panels to cover the other half.

Including capital costs, my electricity will cost one third of what I used to pay. If everybody in Florida did this, we’d save a bundle, make new jobs and slash our carbon emissions.

Beats hot green soup in the drinking water.

Philip K. Stoddard, mayor, South Miami

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