Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station

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Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station
Official nameTurkey Point
CountryUnited States
LocationHomestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida
Coordinates25°26′3″N 80°19′50″W / 25.43417°N 80.33056°W / 25.43417; -80.33056Coordinates: 25°26′3″N 80°19′50″W / 25.43417°N 80.33056°W / 25.43417; -80.33056
Construction beganUnit 3–4: April 27, 1967
Commission dateUnit 1: April 1967
Unit 2: April 1968
Unit 3: December 14, 1972
Unit 4: September 7, 1973
Unit 5: May 2007
Construction costUnits 3–4: $1.013 billion (2007 USD)[1]
Unit 5: $200 million (2007 USD)[2]
Owner(s)Florida Power & Light
Operator(s)Florida Power & Light
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierWestinghouse
Thermal power station
Primary fuelNatural gas
Secondary fuelDistillate fuel oil
Tertiary fuelResidual fuel oil
Turbine technologySteam turbine (Units 1–2, Unit 5), gas turbine (Unit 5)
Cooling sourceCanal system (Units 1–2)
Canal system (Units 3–4)
Mechanical Draft 22-cell cooling tower (Unit 5)
Combined cycle?No (Units 1–2)
Yes (Unit 5)
Thermal capacity2 × 2644 MWth (nuclear)
Power generation
Units operational2 × 802 MW (nuclear)
1 × 1150 MW (CCGT)
Make and model2 × WH 3-loop (DRYAMB)
4 × 170–180 MW GE 7FA gas turbines
4 × Nooter gas-fired heat recovery steam generators
1 × 470 MW steam turbine
Units planned2 × 1117 MW AP1000
Units decommissioned2 × 404 MW Foster-Wheeler fuel oil/natural gas/used oil/propane steam turbines
Nameplate capacity2754 MW (1604 MW nuclear, 1150 MW CCGT)
Capacity factor74.71% (2017, 90.51% nuclear, 52.65% CCGT)
Annual net output18,023 GWh (2017, 12,718 GWh nuclear, 5304 GWh CCGT)
External links
WebsiteTurkey Point Nuclear Plant
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear and gas-fired power plant located on a 3,300-acre (1,300 ha) site two miles east of Homestead, Florida, United States, next to Biscayne National Park located about 25 miles (40 km) south of Miami, Florida near the southernmost edge of Miami-Dade County. The facility is owned by Florida Power & Light.

Including the two nuclear plants, Turkey Point operates three power-generating units. It comprises two retired 404 megawatt fuel oil/natural gas/used oil/propane-fired generation units (Units 1 and 2), two 802 MWe Westinghouse pressurized water reactors (Units 3 and 4), and a 1,150 MW combined-cycle gas-fired Unit 5.[3] It serves the entire southern portion of Florida. With a combined operational capacity of 2754 MW, the site is the third largest generating station in Florida and the sixth largest power plant in the United States.[4]

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized its staff to issue combined licences for Florida Power and Light to build and operate two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at its Turkey Point site.[5]


The two pressurized water reactors were completed in 1972 and 1973.[6]


In 2002, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) extended the operating licenses for both nuclear reactors from forty years to sixty years. In 2006, FPL informed the NRC that they planned to apply for new units to be built at Turkey Point. FPL filed an initial proposal for increased capacity with the Florida Public Service Commission in October 2007.[7] The proposal was approved by the PSC in March 2008.[8]

FPL also planned to spend about $1.5 billion to increase the capacity of its existing four reactors at Turkey Point and the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant by a total of about 400 MW by 2012.[9]

On June 30, 2009, FPL submitted a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) application for two 1,117-MWe Westinghouse AP1000 reactors (Units 6 and 7).[10] FPL had considered building two 1,550-MWe GE ESBWR reactors.[3]Construction was expected to begin in 2012, with the new units going online in 2017 and 2019. FPL estimated the total overnight costs of the power plants, including first fuel load, at $6.8–$9.9 billion, and the total project cost at $12.1–$17.8 billion.[11] The COLs for units 6 and 7 were authorized by the NRC in April 2018.[12]

Criticism of expansion[edit]

The expansion received criticism from some South Florida mayors over concerns about water usage, insufficient evacuation zones and increased risks from rising sea levels.[13]

Surrounding population[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[14]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Turkey Point was 161,556, an increase of 62.8 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 3,476,981, an increase of 15.1 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Miami (25 miles to city center).[15]

Incident history[edit]

May 8, 1974[edit]

A test was performed on all three of the Emergency Feedwater (EFW) pumps serving Unit 3 while the reactor was operating at power. Two of the pumps failed to start as a result of overtightened packing. The third pump failed to start because of a malfunction in the turbine regulating valve pneumatic controller. (ref NRC LER 250/74-LTR) In an ongoing study (ref NRC Commission Document SECY-05-0192 Attachment 2 NRC.gov) of precursors that could lead to a nuclear accident if additional failures were to have occurred, the NRC concluded (as of 24-Oct-2005) that this event at Turkey Point Unit 3 was the fifth highest ranked occurrence.

August 24, 1992[edit]

Turkey Point was directly hit by Hurricane Andrew on August 24, 1992, destroying two raw water tanks and portions of the fire protection systems, draining another raw water tank, partially disabling the fire protection systems, causing severe damage to various non-nuclear structures, and cracking the smokestack for fossil-fueled Unit 1. The smokestack later had to be demolished and rebuilt. It also suffered a total loss of offsite power, requiring the use of the onsite emergency diesel generators for several days. No significant damage was done to the plant's nuclear containment buildings.[16][17] The plant was built to withstand winds of up to 235 mph (380 km/h), greatly exceeding the maximum winds recorded by most category 5 hurricanes.

March 18, 2017[edit]

On March 18, 2017, an electrical fault occurred in a Unit 3 switchgear room, resulting in the loss of a safety related electrical bus and a reactor trip. Other safety systems functioned as required, ensuring adequate reactor cooling. There was no threat to local residents or the environment, and the alert, the second-lowest Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) emergency declaration, was terminated later that same day.[18] The electrical fault caused an arc flash, resulting in a minor burn of a plant worker who was in the room and was treated at a local hospital.[19] On March 22, 2017, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it had initiated a special inspection into the failure of the electrical bus that resulted in the plant declaring an alert.[20]

2008 Florida electricity blackout[edit]

Turkey Point Generating Station from the Biscayne National Park visitor center. The nuclear units are hidden by the oil/gas generating units from this angle.

On February 26, 2008, both reactors were shut down due to the loss of off-site power during a widespread power outage in South Florida, affecting 700,000 customers.[21]

At least 2.5 million people were without power. The blackout was initially caused by an overheated voltage switch that soon caught fire in a power substation in Miami, 23 miles away from the plant. The fire occurred at 1:08 PM and caused an automatic shutdown of the power plant. This led to a domino effect that caused outages as far north as Daytona Beach and Tampa. Power was restored by 4:30 PM. The reason this malfunction caused such widespread outages is still under investigation.[22]

Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando International Airport, and Miami International Airport were among the places affected by the outage.[23]

David Hoffman, a nuclear supervisor at Turkey Point, resigned over the incident and was subsequently sued by Florida Power and Light for return of a bonus. Hoffman countersued, claiming he was pressured to restart the reactors while they were in a condition which in his judgment made it unsafe to do so. Upper management wanted the reactors restarted during xenon dead time, which would have led to the operators at the controls having to continuously step control rods to safely manage reactor output.

Florida Power and Light responded to the allegation, claiming Hoffman's suit was "self-motivated".[24][25]


The site is home to a large wildlife preserve.

Turkey Point has been a contributing force to the reclassification of the American crocodile from endangered to the less serious category of vulnerable.[26]

Cooling canals[edit]

Instead of a cooling tower, the plant has a large five-by-two mile (10-square-mile (26 km2)) network of canals covering nearly 6,000 acres (2,400 ha).[27] Several problems have arisen from this, including pollution of nearby national parks or water supply, particularly the Biscayne Aquifer,[28] issues with overheating, and radioactive material.[29] Overheating in the canals twice caused the plant to shut down reactors in 2014.[28] In September 2016, a controversial cleanup process began that included injecting hypersaline water deep into the boulder zone beneath the aquifer and/or making some of the unlined canals more shallow. 600,000 pounds of salt gets into the canal system daily, and the saltwater contamination reaches 4 miles (6.4 km) west of the system as well as possibly into Biscayne Bay.[30]

Seismic risk[edit]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Turkey Point was 1 in 100,000, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[31][32] The plant is located in an area with the lowest earthquake hazard potential described by the USGS.[33]

Reactor data[edit]

The Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station consists of two operational reactors, and two additional units are planned.

Reactor unit[34] Reactor type Capacity Construction started Electricity grid connection Commercial operation Shutdown
Net Gross
Turkey Point-3 Westinghouse 3-loop 693 MW 729 MW 27.04.1967 02.11.1972 14.12.1972
Turkey Point-4 Westinghouse 3-loop 693 MW 729 MW 27.04.1967 21.06.1973 07.09.1973
Turkey Point-6 (planned)[35] AP1000 1117 MW MW Licensed [12]
Turkey Point-7 (planned)[35] AP1000 1117 MW MW Licensed [12]

In 2019 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a second 20-year licence extension for units 3 and 4, the first time NRC had extended licences to 80 years total lifetime.[36]


Speculation about the name Turkey Point, first known written reference in 1865, suggests that it is because of the presence of the anhinga, or perhaps because of the shape of the land resembling the neck of a turkey.[37]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ "EIA - State Nuclear Profiles". www.eia.gov. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  2. ^ "COVER FEATURE: Projects of the Year". www.power-eng.com. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b DiSavino, Scott (October 13, 2008). "FPL Fla. Turkey Point 4 reactor shut". Reuters. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  4. ^ [U.S. Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/rankings/plantsbycapacity.htm]
  5. ^ https://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2018/04/06/nrc-gives-go-ahead-for-two-ap1000-reactors-at-turkey-point-in-florida
  6. ^ Commission, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory (1990). Nuclear Regulatory Commission Issuances: Opinions and Decisions of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with Selected Orders.
  7. ^ "FPL moves to add nuclear plants in S. Dade". Miami Herald. October 17, 2007. Retrieved October 23, 2007.[dead link]
  8. ^ John Dorschner; Curtis Morgan (March 19, 2008). "FPL reactor proposal advances". The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 15, 2008.[dead link]
  9. ^ DiSavino, Scott (June 1, 2009). "FPL Fla. Turkey Point 4 reactor back at full power". Reuters. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  10. ^ "Turkey Point, Units 6 and 7 Application". Combined License Applications for New Reactors. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). July 2, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  11. ^ "Application for Florida reactors". World Nuclear News. July 23, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
  12. ^ a b c http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Regulator-approves-licences-for-new-Florida-units-0604184.html
  13. ^ Staletovich, Jenny (April 15, 2015). "Mayors make case against FPL nuclear expansion". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 2, 2006. Retrieved 2012-08-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, NBC News, April 14, 2011 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42555888 Accessed May 1, 2011.
  16. ^ "NRC Information Notice 93-53: Effect of Hurricane Andrew on Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station and Lessons Learned". NRC.gov. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. July 20, 1993. Retrieved July 25, 2007.
  17. ^ "NRC Information Notice 93-53, Supplement 1: Effect of Hurricane Andrew on Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station and Lessons Learned". NRC.gov. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. April 29, 1994. Retrieved July 25, 2007.
  18. ^ "Nuclear regulators inspecting FPL's Turkey Point plant after small explosion".
  19. ^ "Minor electrical fire at Turkey Point injures one".
  20. ^ "Nuclear regulators inspecting FPL's Turkey Point plant after small explosion".
  21. ^ DiSavino, Scott (February 26, 2008). "FPL Fla, Turkey Pt reactors shut due to power outage". Reuters. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  22. ^ "FPL mystery: How did small fire knock out power to millions?". Sun-Sentinel. February 27, 2008. Archived from the original on March 1, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2008.
  23. ^ Reasons For Blackout In Central, Southern Florida Remain A Mystery - News Story - WFTV Orlando Archived April 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Court papers reveal nuclear feud at Turkey Point". The Miami Herald. March 12, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.[dead link]
  25. ^ "Court papers: Nuclear feud at Fla. plant". UPI.com. March 12, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  26. ^ CBS News. Endangered Crocs Make A Comeback.
  27. ^ David A. Chin. "The Cooling-Canal System at the FPL Turkey Point Power Station" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  28. ^ a b Jenny Staletovich (April 25, 2016). "Florida cites FPL for Turkey Point cooling canal violations". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  29. ^ Mary Ellen Klas (July 28, 2016). "Should FPL retire its cooling canals? Report makes the case". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  30. ^ Susan Salisbury (October 27, 2016). "FPL's Turkey Point fix won't solve pollution problems, group says". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  31. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," NBC News, March 17, 2011 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42103936 Accessed April 19, 2011.
  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 25, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 18, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: "United States of America: Nuclear Power Reactors- Alphabetic" Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ a b https://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/turkey-point.html
  36. ^ "Turkey Point licensed for 80 years of operation". World Nuclear News. December 6, 2019. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  37. ^ "Turkey Point Works in Community Partnership". Emergency Management of Monroe County. Florida Power & Light Company. Retrieved December 8, 2019.

External links[edit]