Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station

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Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station
Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station is located in Florida
Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station
Location of Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in Florida
Country United States
Location Homestead, Florida
Coordinates 25°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
Status Operational
Commission date Unit 3: December 14, 1972
Unit 4: September 7, 1973
Operator(s) Florida Power & Light
Nuclear power station
Reactor type pressurized water reactor
Reactor supplier Westinghouse
Power generation
Units operational 2 x 693 MW
Make and model Westinghouse
Units planned 2 x 1117 MW
Capacity factor 92.5%
Average generation 11,227 GWh

Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station is a twin reactor nuclear power station located on a 3,300-acre (1,300 ha) site 2 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.

Turkey Point is owned by Florida Power & Light.

Including the two nuclear plants, Turkey Point operates five power-generating units. It comprises two 400-megawatt oil/natural gas-fired generation units (Units 1 and 2) and two nuclear Westinghouse pressurized water reactors (Units 3 and 4), each supplying steam to one high pressure and two low-pressure turbines with a power output rated at 693 MWe for each unit. In 2007, it added the 1,150 MW combined-cycle gas-fired Unit 5.[1] It serves the entire southern portion of Florida. With a combined capacity of 3330 MW, the site is the largest generating station in Florida and is the sixth largest power plant in the United States.[2]

An expansion of two additional nuclear reactors has been approved by the state and is scheduled to begin in 2017.


PWRs completed in 1972 and 1973.


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.[3] The proposal was approved by the PSC in March 2008.[4]

FPL also plans 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.[5]

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).[6] FPL had considered building two 1,550-MWe GE ESBWR reactors.[1] Construction is expected to begin in 2012, with the new units going online in 2017 and 2019. FPL estimates 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.[7]

Criticism of expansion[edit]

The expansion has received criticism from some South Florida mayors over concerns about water usage, insufficient evacuation zones and increased risks from rising sea levels.[8]

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.[9]

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).[10]

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.


Turkey Point was directly hit by Hurricane Andrew, destroying its main water tank, causing severe damage to the water treatment plant, and to a smokestack of one of the site's fossil-fueled units. The smokestack had to be demolished and rebuilt. It also suffered a loss of offsite power, requiring the onsite emergency diesel generators to start. No damage was done to the plant's containment buildings.[11][12] 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 8, 2016[edit]

The University of Miami found that Turkey point nuclear reactor has caused level of tritium in Biscayne Bay to increase to 200 times the normal level.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

Walt Disney World, Orlando International Airport, and Miami International Airport were among the places affected by the outage.[16]

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".[17][18]


It is home to a wildlife preserve, helping the population of the American crocodile.

Turkey Point has been a contributing force to the reclassification of the American Crocodile from endangered to the less serious category of vulnerable.[19]

Cooling canals[edit]

Instead of a cooling tower, the plant has a large five-by-two mile (20-square-mile (52 km2)) network of canals covering nearly 6,000 acres.[20] Several problems have arisen from this, including pollution of nearby national parks or water supply, particularly the Biscayne Aquifer,[21] issues with overheating, and radioactive material.[22] Overheating in the canals twice caused the plant to shut down reactors in 2014.[21] 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.[23]

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.[24][25] The plant is located in an area with the lowest earthquake hazard potential described by the USGS.[26]

Reactor data[edit]

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

Reactor unit[27] 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)[28] AP1000 1117 MW MW Postponed
Turkey Point-7 (planned)[29] AP1000 1117 MW MW Postponed

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b DiSavino, Scott (October 13, 2008). "FPL Fla. Turkey Point 4 reactor shut". Reuters. Retrieved November 16, 2008. 
  2. ^ [U.S. Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/rankings/plantsbycapacity.htm]
  3. ^ "FPL moves to add nuclear plants in S. Dade". Miami Herald. October 17, 2007. Retrieved October 23, 2007. [dead link]
  4. ^ John Dorschner; Curtis Morgan (March 19, 2008). "FPL reactor proposal advances". The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 15, 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ DiSavino, Scott (June 1, 2009). "FPL Fla. Turkey Point 4 reactor back at full power". Reuters. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Turkey Point, Units 6 and 7 Application". Combined License Applications for New Reactors. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). July 2, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Application for Florida reactors". World Nuclear News. July 23, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Mayors make case against FPL nuclear expansion". Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 2, 2006. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  10. ^ Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, msnbc.com, April 14, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/ Accessed May 1, 2011.
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "University of Miami has found that the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, located just south of Miami, has caused levels of tritium, a radioactive isotope, in Biscayne Bay to spike to 200-times higher than normal levels;from google (tva radioactive leak) result 9". 
  14. ^ DiSavino, Scott (February 26, 2008). "FPL Fla, Turkey Pt reactors shut due to power outage". Reuters. Retrieved February 26, 2008. 
  15. ^ "FPL mystery: How did small fire knock out power to millions? = Sun-Sentinel". February 27, 2008. Retrieved February 27, 2008. 
  16. ^ Reasons For Blackout In Central, Southern Florida Remain A Mystery - News Story - WFTV Orlando
  17. ^ "Court papers reveal nuclear feud at Turkey Point". The Miami Herald. March 12, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Court papers: Nuclear feud at Fla. plant". UPI.com. March 12, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  19. ^ CBS News. Endangered Crocs Make A Comeback.
  20. ^ David A. Chin. "The Cooling-Canal System at the FPL Turkey Point Power Station" (PDF). Miami-Dade County. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b Jenny Staletovich (April 25, 2016). "Florida cites FPL for Turkey Point cooling canal violations". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  22. ^ Mary Ellen Klas (July 28, 2016). "Should FPL retire its cooling canals? Report makes the case". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  23. ^ Susan Salisbury (October 27, 2016). "FPL's Turkey Point fix won't solve pollution problems, group says". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  24. ^ Bill Dedman, "What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk," msnbc.com, March 17, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ Accessed April 19, 2011.
  25. ^ http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/NEWS/quake%20nrc%20risk%20estimates.pdf
  26. ^ http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/florida/hazards.php
  27. ^ Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: "United States of America: Nuclear Power Reactors- Alphabetic" Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - TURKEY POINT-6"
  29. ^ Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - TURKEY POINT-7"

External links[edit]