State Watch

Federal officials reverse decision to extend Florida nuclear plant license

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Monday reversed a 2019 decision to extend operating licenses for a nuclear power plant in southern Florida over potential environmental concerns.

The NRC will next conduct an environmental review of the site and hold a hearing, the Miami Herald reported.

Federal agents with the commission reversed a decision allowing two reactors at the Florida Power & Light plant near Miami to operate until 2052 and 2053, the Associated Press reported. The prior decision was made by previous commission members under Republican leadership.

The NRC, which oversees commercial power plants across the U.S., already approved the reactors at Turkey Point to run until 2032 and 2031 and the decision does not affect the current operations of the plant, according to the AP. 

But reversing the extension of the operating licenses gives environmental groups to explain concerns about climate change, sea level rise and environmental impacts.

Rachel Silverstein, head of Miami Waterkeeper, which is one of a number of organizations challenging the license extension, called the NRC’s decision a “victory for resiliency, for science, for safety and for the environment.”

“We’ve spent years working on this issue and we’re absolutely thrilled that the NRC has decided to require updating the environmental assessments for operating extensions,” Silverstein told the Miami Herald.

A spokesperson from the Florida Power & Light plant told The Hill it was “evaluating the NRC’s decisions to determine our next steps in the license renewal process.”

After taking office, President Joe Biden named Democrats to the NRC, which also reversed an extension of the Peach Bottom nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, the AP noted.

Tags Florida Joe Biden Miami Nuclear power plant U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
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