The Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant In Miami-Dade County Is Leaking Radiation Into Biscayne Bay And The Florida Aquifer
Many years ago my best friend and I were on his fishing boat after spending a day on Boca Chita Key, which is a beautiful but perhaps relatively unknown island at the northernmost tip of the Florida Keys. As we traveled back towards the mainland of Miami-Dade County we got lost, and ended up going outside of the boating channel and onto the flats. The flats are a region where there is anywhere from 1-5 feet of water, and boats easily run aground. He ended up having to get out and push the boat for a very long time to get us back to the channel.
The remarkable thing was that everything was dead. We were in the middle of Biscayne National Park, which is supposed to be a vibrant marine ecosystem, but there were no fish and all the underwater plants and coral were dead. It was absolutely shocking, and I could just feel in my soul that something was seriously wrong.
Lo and behold, the Turkey Point nuclear power plant was looming a few miles away. We had inadvertently ended up right in the waters next to Turkey Point. I knew in my gut that Turkey Point was the reason everything was dead in the part of Biscayne Bay we were in. Notably, we got a sunburn like never before, where the skin peeled off our entire body. It could have been from the sun, since we were stranded in the sun for hours, but perhaps it was radiation too.
Indeed, in 2016 it was discovered that the cooling canals for the Turkey Point nuclear power plant had been leaking into Biscayne Bay, and scientists found more than 215 times the normal concentration of the radioactive isotope tritium in Biscayne Bay, at least in the spots where they tested.
Apparently the problems started in 2013 when they increased the power output by 15%, and cooling canal temperatures reached 102 F, the highest in the country. Scientists warned that the hot and salty canal water, which had a much different density than the surrounding aquifer and Biscayne Bay, would inevitably find its way into both the Florida Aquifer and Biscayne Bay.
Florida Power and Light (FPL), which runs Turkey Point, argued that the cooling canals were a closed system. However, in South Florida the natural water system is like a sponge, and if the canal water has much different properties than the surrounding water it will definitely end up mixing into the aquifer and the ocean. Therefore, it was a blatant lie that the canal was a closed system, especially with temperatures running 30-40 F above the natural water temperature.
Not only did the radioactive water leak into Biscayne Bay, but it also created a 5 mile plume of saltwater leaking into the Florida Aquifer. There are not many people who live around Turkey Point, but obviously this plume has the potential to spread into the rest of the Florida Aquifer, since it is like a sponge.
The government responded and demanded that FPL fix the problem within 10 years, meaning it is legally ok for radiation to continue leaking into the Florida Aquifer and Biscayne Bay until 2026.
Unfortunately, the solution that FPL presents just creates more problems. FPL’s solution to this problem is to pump the radioactive cooling canal water deep into the Florida Aquifer, in a place where it supposedly cannot leak out of. However, once again, the Florida Aquifer is like a sponge, and undoubtedly radiation will leak into the upper layers, where drinking water is obtained from.
To put this all in perspective, the Florida Aquifer supplies drinking water for nearly 10 million people. The tricounty area, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, has over 6 million people alone, all of which depend on the Florida Aquifer.
Unfortunately, there is no sign that this problem has abated, especially since FPL has another 6 years to stop the radiation from leaking into the Florida Aquifer and Biscayne Bay, during which time a ton of radiation could end up in the drinking supply and the ocean, and the solution to the problem involves constantly injecting massive amounts of radioactive water into the deepest depths of the Florida Aquifer, and just assuming it won’t leak, which is a ridiculous assumption.
Thus, the Turkey Point nuclear power plant is definitely contaminating Biscayne Bay with radiation, contributing to a complete collapse of wildlife, and is potentially contaminating Southeast Florida’s drinking water, which could ultimately lead to increased cancer rates. Unfortunately, it appears this will be a problem for the foreseeable future, since the government has been far too lenient with FPL.
Overall, this is just another example of how nuclear power is poisoning the world, and indeed nuclear power and nuclear weapons testing may have a lot to do with the surge in cancer rates in the past century.