The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Friday that it had issued licenses allowing Florida Power and Light to proceed with construction and operation of two AP1000 reactors at the Turkey Point nuclear generating station 25 miles south of Miami. If built, the two units, which were first expected to go online in 2018 and 2020, would cost approximatlely $20 billion to build, according to a Miami Herald report.
FPL said in May of 2016 that it intended to continue pursuit of a license, although the company did not intend to begin construction for another four years. However, economic headwinds have made pursuit of new nuclear power plants on the scale the United States is accustomed to seeing built and unlikely prospect at this time.
The largest economic deterrent is the glut of natural gas on the market, which has made it cheaper to produce electricity with natural gas, despite the attention paid around the world to global warming.
The federal regulator granted permission for the agency’s Office of New Reactors to issue the licenses after conducting a hearing Dec. 12, 2017. The Commission found the staff’s review of FPL’s application adequate to make the necessary regulatory safety and environmental findings, according to a press statement.
The staff expects to issue the licenses in the next few days. FPL applied for permission to build and operate two AP1000 reactors adjacent to the two existing Turkey Point reactors. FPL submitted the application on June 30, 2009. The NRC certified the 1,100-megawatt AP1000 design in 2011.
The committee provided the results of its review to the Commission in September 2016. The NRC completed its environmental review and issued the final impact statement for the proposed Turkey Point reactors in October 2016.
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