Turkey Point Reactors Vulnerable to Global Warming, Experts Warn

Categories: Category 5
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"We are the most vulnerable metropolitan area in the world when it comes to sea level rise," says University of Miami professor Harold Wanless. Sitting in his office, the avuncular geologist paints a bleak picture. Global warming is a fact, and the results are already visible: hurricanes are getting stronger, droughts and floods more frequent. Here in South Florida, waters rose roughly six inches since between 1930 and 1981. That may not sound like much, but it's just the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg.

"Another eight inches and 65 percent of the county's water control structures will fail," says Wanless. Salt water will come seeping across South Florida, destroying crops, corroding cars, and costing billions in damages. But eight inches is nothing, Wanless says. He expects South Florida seas to rise by at least four, probably six, feet by 2100.

A two-foot rise would plunge 28 percent of Miami-Dade below water. Miami Beach would be reduced to Ocean Drive (shudder) as celebrities scramble to save their Star Island mansions. Same thing across the Bay. Sayonara City Hall. Most worrying of all, Turkey Point Nuclear Facility would be an island in the newly created Sea of Homestead.

Although two new reactors at Turkey Point are being built at higher elevation, Florida Power & Light has requested to keep  the two current nukes running until 2035. Given that they were almost inundated back in 1992 by Hurricane Andrew, what will happen as oceans continue to rise?

"The standards will be 85 years old by then, and that's a problem," says Arnie Gundersen, a Vermont-based nuclear engineer and consultant. "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission doesn't upgrade standards when they renew a license... even though we all know that the world has changed. Temperatures are higher and hurricanes are more powerful."

Even the new reactors at Turkey Point are being built with Hurricane Andrew in mind, instead of the mega storms we will see as global warming worsens. "No one is wondering what will happen if a category 6 hurricane rolls through," he says. "If tidal waves knock out the water pumps" - as they did at the Fukushima Reactor in Japan earlier this year - "you can have a meltdown."

FPL spokesman Michael Waldron says Turkey Point is safe and that the reactors are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but "no one knows for sure what the climate change impact on sea levels will be 100 years from now."

A six-foot rise in ocean waters would be less dramatic than a meltdown, but almost as damaging. Less than half of Miami-Dade would remain, and of the land still above water, 73 percent would constantly flood. "That's uninhabitable," Wanless says. At eight-feet higher, Miami-Dade is an archipelago. At ten, we're Atlantis. But that's not even Wanless's worst case scenario, in which China and India pump more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, Tea Party deniers block American action, and seas rise by an astounding 20 feet by 2100.

"It's not unforeseeable at all," Wanless says. "It's happened before." Yeah, 130,000 years ago.

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3 comments
plutonium
plutonium

 Hey Rational Db8 when was the last time a hurricane hit Land at 200 miles an hour? Two of the strongest storms to hit land happened last year and in the same ocean the Pacific! Coincidence? I think not! That storm "HYAN" should have never existed in this world! Did you know they found plutonium 1000 times higher than normal outside of San Francisco bay?  Wiki and people like Rational are murderers that get paid by PR firms to spread misinformation.  Wiki said the winds only reached 155 when they were at 200 that was like a f4 tornado for 4 hours over your house 100 miles wide.. 


Fukushima is continuing to spew out radiation into the air and sea and turning the ocean and sky into giant batteries. These storms will only get worse.. Stay out of the rain! Also Nuclear energy needs lots of water to cool down it is a no brainer all these nuclear plants are contributing to the ocean to heat up.. 


You wanna stay up to date with the cover up of fukushima and the nuclear industry i highly suggest http://enenews.com 


P.S. all nuclear reactors do controlled release that means our beloved turkey point is radiating us hopefully the wind is blowing east.. Don't believe me? Check out the tooth fairy project where babies that gave tooth to science found strontium in all baby teeth twenty miles away from turkey point.. Props to NEWTIMES for having the guts to share real news!

Rational Db8
Rational Db8

More bogus sensationalist clap-trap.  First, hurricanes are NOT stronger or more frequent.  Quite the opposite.  For the past few decades, global tropical cyclones, including total number of cyclones, average energy levels, and total number of 'major' hurricanes/tropical cyclones have all been at historic low levels in recent years.  I don't know if this site allows links, so google: Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity by Ryan Maue.

Next, not even the latest IPCC extreme estimates have sea level increases by 2100 anywhere near the disingenuous levels mentioned in this article.  The latest IPCC report gave a range of 7.1 to 23 inches by 2100.  Furthermore, global sea level rise has been occurring at basically the same rate ever since the end of the Little Ice Age - approx. 3.1mm/yr or slightly over an inch a decade.  This rate hasn't accelerated in conjunction with rising CO2 levels as AGW tenets would require.  Not only has the rate not increased, but since roughly 2005-6 the rate has decreased and this past year the actual sea level itself has dropped a quarter of an inch (e.g., it's dropped nearly the equivalent of two years worth of 'rise' at the previous rate).

As to Arnie Gunderson - he's been well known as earning $$ as an anti-nuclear activist who profits by spreading anti-nuclear FUD (unreasonable and unsupported Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) for at least a decade.  He is in no way representative of reality or the typical scientific viewpoint on nuclear power issues.  His claims and comments as represented in this article are without merit.  

It wasn't even the loss of the sea side water pumps that caused the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster - it was inundation of the main electrical switchboxes/panels needed during emergency situations, by a 49 foot tsunami caused by the 5th largest earthquake ever recorded occurring only a few miles offshore.  Florida isn't at anywhere near the risk geologically - and Turkey Point's facilities are far better protected against flooding and these sorts of problems even if they should occur. 

Both the editor and the author of this piece ought to be utterly ashamed for posting such a biased sensationalized fear mongering article - what ever happened to journalistic standards??!!

seep
seep

Thank you for calling it "Global Warming" and not that pussy euphemism "Climate Change"

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