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Sounding Board: What's the future of nuclear power in Florida?

Barry Moline
FLORIDA MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION - Executive director - Tallahassee

“If we’re serious about addressing climate change, there’s no question nuclear has to be part of our generation mix. We’re relying more and more on natural gas. We’ve seen prices fluctuate. Nuclear is stable. There’s a concern about nuclear being high in costs. Turkey Point and St. Lucie — when they were built people were screaming about how they were raising costs. When the bonds were paid off, it’s a heck of a lot less costly. Those power plants are some of the lowest-cost plants we have. I believe nuclear energy can be developed safely. It is still a risk, a small risk, but still a risk.”

Barry Moline

Vincent Dolan
PROGRESS ENERGY FLORIDA - President/CEO - St. Petersburg

“If you contemplate a future world where we are going to put a premium on reduction of emissions, in particular carbon emission, nuclear is the only carbon-free source of electricity of the ones that are out there today. In particular, Florida needs to be sensitive to fuel diversity. Having the variety of fuels gives you a hedge against one of those fuels moving up and down.”

Vincent Dolan
[Photo: Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times]

Mark Crosswhite
GULF POWER - President/CEO - Pensacola

Mark Crosswhite
“In order to meet the growing demand for electricity, we’re going to need all the arrows in the quiver — natural gas, clean coal, alternative energy, energy efficiency and nuclear power. Nuclear power plants are among the safest and most secure facilities in the United States. Nuclear power is clean, zero emissions. It’s cost-effective; it’s reliable; and it’s a great economic development engine. We did acquire some land in Escambia County that could be the site of a generating plant.”

Eric Silagy
Florida POWER & LIGHT - President - Juno Beach

Eric Silagy
“We’re asking for permission to build at some point. Nuclear is a big part of how FPL generates electricity. About 20% is generated through our two facilities in Turkey Point and St. Lucie. The investments our customers made back in nuclear power in the 1970s are paying off today in the form of the lowest bills in the state. We have two very large construction projects under way right now at Turkey Point and St. Lucie. We call them up-rates. Over the life of the projects we’re talking about $4.8 billion in fuel savings.”

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Comments welcome: How do you view nuclear power in Florida? Should we build more plants? Feel free to weigh in, use the comment field below.