Governor Scott Says Nuclear Power Safe

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Two nuclear power plants exploded in Japan days after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake rocked the island county. Florida has five nuclear reactors in three locations, Turkey Point, Crystal River and St. Lucie.

Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a longtime opponent of nuclear, says the explosions… are proof Florida should get out of the nuclear game.

“The same kinds of problems here in Florida or in the United States with earthquakes or disasters,” said Rehwinkel Vaslinda

In 2009, Former Governor Charlie Crist and the State Cabinet approved plans to build a plants in Levy County. The first new nuclear plants approved in the US in more than three decades.

Progress Energy is already collecting five dollars a month from its customer to build the plants. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2021. Florida Power and Light is collecting money to expand its plant.

State Senate Mike Fasano opposes the cost recovery fees, but supports nuclear. He says what happened in Japan is a freak occurrence.

“It’s clean, it’s efficient, it’s necessary, it takes down our need to have imported oil from other nations,” said Fasano.

We spoke with former Public Service Commission Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano
by phone. The PSC is in charge of regulating utility companies. Argenziano says Japan’s problems raise a lot of questions about Florida’s push toward nuclear.

“It made me stop and think quite a bit, three nuclear reactors there and a second explosion today makes me wonder if we really know what the heck we’re doing,” said Argenziano.

Supporters of nuclear say it’s safer and cleaner than coal. That theory will be tested in Japan in the coming weeks and months ahead.

Governor Rick Scott ordered a safety review of Florida Nuclear plants this weekend. Today Scott released a statement saying he’s satisfied that Florida’s nuclear plants are safe and the state is prepared to respond to a disaster at one of the plants.

“The information I’ve received shows that across state agencies, in conjunction with federal partners and utility operators, we are prepared for an effective and rapid emergency response.”


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sam on Mar 15, 2011 at 04:19 PM
    Tallynote, fyi I'm a retired mechanical engineer with 39 years of exp. in various industrial settings including 7 years in the nuclear industry. Much of those seven years was devoted to mechanical failure analysis. There's much to learn from this, but I'm afraid the U.S. will be kept in the dark about many details!
  • by Sam on Mar 15, 2011 at 04:02 PM
    Anonymous, I did not say get rid of the existing plants. I said "could they be SAFER". That means "what can we learn from Japan's problems". Good grief has everyone gone nuts?
  • by d on Mar 15, 2011 at 05:07 AM
    madrid fault line is all i will say. When it happens florida will be affected and this nuclear stuff could come back to haunt us. They say if it happens whole cities will be gone.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2011 at 09:14 PM
    Tallynole, is "partial China Syndrome" some kind of nuclear industry term? Why would anybody listen to someone who uses a reference to a fiction novel in a scientific discussion?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2011 at 09:09 PM
    Anonymous on Mar 14, 2011 at 09:38 PM Cars don't have a deadly half life of millions of years, do they?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2011 at 09:07 PM
    Tallynole, 1st everything can be safer, stupid post. 2nd The "experts" in Japan said those plants were safe too. And, yes they were experts too. Can't argue with you about Florida being much less prone to seismic activity. But, 3rd don't a lot of people drink from the aquifers you mentioned? That "highly extensive pool of water" also means a highly widespread exposure to radiation if it escapes into the groundwater. I'm not an opponent of nuclear power, just ignorant posts.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2011 at 06:38 PM
    Sam , OK Cars are safe, but can they be safer. Lets get ris of cars until they are crash proof.
  • by pablo Location: peru on Mar 14, 2011 at 06:05 PM
    no comment
  • by Tallynole Location: Tallahassee on Mar 14, 2011 at 05:25 PM
    @watcher, best part about Florida and nuclear power. IF (and this is a big IF) a partial china syndrome ever did occur and the reactor melted thru the base, guess were it goes... Right into a highly extensive pool of water (the Floridian aquifer or Biscayne depending on which plant we are talking about).
  • by Tallynole Location: Tallahassee on Mar 14, 2011 at 05:22 PM
    Jim and Marcus. I dont know if you are aware of the extensive safety training and simulations the state, feds and plant workers run every year, or the equipment stationed throughout the areas, or the emergency plans and procedures for any incident at the plants, but... The information has been compiled for years, It doesn't matter if Lex Luther is a plant expert or not (trust me i dislike the guy) but the experts (and yes, they really are experts) are the ones who said the plants are safe. On another note: Why the hell is WCTV talking about fault lines and acting like this can happen in Florida. Does anyone who work there actually take a look at a map or data ever? https://files.pbworks.com/download/BzQ6erf1aG/thegeosphere/22058978/tectonic_map.jpg I know it is an older map but still useful. Please locate Japan and then Florida and describe how they may be different in this situation...
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