Study finds the unthinkable, yet predictable: South Florida nuclear plant has been leaking radioactive wastewater into natural habitats
Interesting news out of Miami, where the utility Florida Power & Light built and operates a nuclear power plant. The Miami Herald, has been closely following reports of wastewater leakage from the Turkey Point facility into the adjacent national park and other ecosystems of Biscayne Bay.
One of the paper’s commenting readers, making a good point about how consumers also play a role in helping or hurting our environment, compared the failures at Turkey Point to customers who enjoy the low prices at Walmart while insisting the company sell only American-made products.
Another remembers, many years ago, FPL “hoping to find” a solution to the wastewater problem “after the fact.” Circular reasoning by the utility: “We intend to find a safe disposal solution soon after the plant opens. That’s how we solve the issue, through this proposal.”
Well, that’s precisely when it’s the government’s and the public’s responsibility to say, “An intention is not a solution. Proposing a solution is not a solution. Most importantly, what happens if you don’t find a safe solution!?” Only few would object to the addition of, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!”
I titled a recent article here in my ULTIMATE ERROR blog “How far will people go for money and power?” Apparently, most of us continue to underestimate that particular distance. (Perhaps because it’s ever-growing?)
If you run a utility company, in this case a supplier of electricity, and the profits are good (due in part to your status as, basically, a legal monopoly), if you’re entrusted by a state and a locality with building and running a nuclear power plant which further multiplies those profits, why would you even bother cutting corners on safety!? Isn’t a profitable, stable business with hundreds of years of potential enough!?
When you get into the category of people who are driven by greed and power (no pun intended), there is no “enough.” There is only “more.” Here lies one of the great, under-appreciated problems in fostering responsible, shared stewardship of our planet and its resources. The greedy and power-mad, when they’re not one in the same, are attracted to each other. The harm they do is thus multiplied.
FPL and other Florida electrical utilities contributed heavily to Florida Governor Rick Scott’s election campaigns. In 2014, the cooling canals at the Turkey Point nuclear power plant were already leaking into the surrounding bay. FPL officials, however, were more focused on increasing the plant’s power output, and asked the state for permission to run hotter and heavier. Scott’s Department of Environmental Protection quietly approved FPL’s plans two days before Christmas, while legislators and the public were distracted by the holiday.
These alliances are exactly what cause the damage. Floridians ought to make sure Scott, his DEP department, and the FPL officials involved are held directly accountable for the pollution as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if no one clearly pays for damaging our delicate ecosystems, similarly-minded others will follow and do it again.
My upcoming novel, ULTIMATE ERROR, delves into the problems of a world always one mistake away from widespread catastrophe. I hope my book and this blog help to bring attention to these dangers, so that we may avoid any more irreversible errors.