- New, advanced modeling indicates FPL's plan to remove hypersaline water will improve groundwater quality
- Long-term solutions to meet standards and improve conditions continue to move forward
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) today announced that advanced three-dimensional modeling supports its long-term plan to remove hypersaline water from underneath and near the cooling canal system at the Turkey Point Power Plant complex.
The modeling, which incorporates data from airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys conducted by helicopter, enables scientists from FPL and other organizations to more accurately identify the location of hypersaline groundwater and to develop additional plans for its removal.
FPL's plan is based upon data collected from dozens of monitoring stations, state-of-the-art groundwater mapping technology, detailed 3-D modeling of groundwater and a comprehensive review and analysis of technical data by independent experts. The plan includes the safe removal of hypersaline groundwater from the shallow Biscayne aquifer.
"We have been consistent in our position that we need to follow the science, not the politics," said Randy LaBauve, FPL Vice President of Environmental Services. "A data-driven, science-based approach ensures that we're taking the right actions at the right time to improve the situation. While it will take time to reverse the hypersaline plume in an environmentally responsible manner, this new data will help us achieve faster results and allow us to leverage the progress we are already making."
In addition to the plan to remove hypersaline water, FPL is using brackish water from the Floridan aquifer in the cooling canal system to help keep salt levels in the cooling canals in balance with the salinity of Biscayne Bay. This system, which has been approved by the state of Florida's Siting Board and Department of Environmental Protection, is expected to commence operations this summer and be fully operational by year's end.
The approval of the Floridan aquifer system contributed to FPL's ability to forego water withdrawals from the L-31 canal, a decision that was supported by environmental groups, such as Audubon Florida, and other stakeholders.
"We look forward to continuing to work with key stakeholders – including Miami Dade County, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District, as well as environmental organizations – in improving the cooling canal system and surrounding area," said LaBauve.
FPL's Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant continues to operate safely as it has for more than 40 years, generating zero-carbon energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in a county that typically imports half of its electricity from outside the county during peak summer electricity use times. The recent water quality challenges involving the cooling canal system do not impact the safety of the plant or public health.
For more information, visit FPL's educational website, https://www.fpl.com/landing/turkey-point-facts.html.