FPL Nuclear Plant Trips Off-Line… Again!?

2 Apr
FPL St Lucie Nuke Plant on Hutchinson Island

FPL St Lucie Nuke Plant on Hutchinson Island

Unit 1 of FPL St. Lucie Nuke Plant experienced another “auto trip” earlier this month.

According to the TC Palm, everything is fine and dandy. How do they know? FPL said so. “Florida Power and Light Co. reported inspections results to the NRC Thursday at the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Md.”

Supposedly the automatic response turned off electricity to non-nuclear equipment, which occurs when signals indicate equipment is not operating properly. But “the generators are operating safely.” Or so says FPL communications supervisor Doug Andrews.

The TC Palm article, entitled “FPL St. Lucie nuke plant inspections show steam generators safe” doesn’t quite read like news, more like an industry-generated PR piece in a County that you could easily pay off enough politicians and editors to ensure silence surrounding the potential devastation of a coastal reactor perched on the edge of a rising and warming ocean. 

A slightly deeper, and less encouraging take on the plant’s safety was evident in former member of The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board Sally Swartz’ take on the subject just a few months ago:

“Three incidents won FPL’s St. Lucie Unit 1 plant, which went online in 1976, an extra NRC inspection. First, on Aug. 22, 2011, jellyfish clogged screens on cooling water intakes, causing a drop in water circulating in the plant and triggering a surprise shutdown. Other unplanned shutdowns happened Oct. 19, 2011, after a water pump failed in the non-nuclear side of the plant and on March 31 this year when a steam valve opened during a test.

Thomas Saporito of Jupiter, a frequent FPL critic [a whistle-blowing former FPL employee], said he’s concerned the NRC is not doing its job of making sure FPL does its job.

He has a point. The buddy-buddy nature of this longtime relationship between the inspector and the inspected seem designed to foster getting by rather than excellence.

As long as there is no U.S. version of Fukushima to force a change in the system, the FPL-NRC Good Ol’ Boy Club continues.”

The FPL plant has also been recognized for its tritium leaks (which it claims are of no danger) and adjacent cancer clusters (which it of course has nothing to do with.)

The next inspection is scheduled for spring 2014.

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Story compiled by EF! Newswire. Appreciate the info? Support us.

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