NRC Approves Reactor Threatened by Sea-Level Rise

WASHINGTON – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission pushed through the extension of the license for the Turkey Point nuclear facility in Florida. The approval comes more than a decade before the current license expires, in 2032. In giving the OK, the NRC ignored pending challenges to the extension.

If this stands, Turkey Point would be the first plant in the U.S. to have an 80-year license, allowing it to operate until 2053.

The following is a statement by Geoffrey Fettus, a senior lawyer in the nuclear program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

“This is now Exhibit A of why the NRC’s industry-friendly approval process needs an overhaul. It's absurd to push through a license extension more than a decade before the extension would even take effect, and for a plant along the vulnerable coast of Florida south of Miami. The NRC continues to put its head in the sand and ignore the risks that rising seas pose to this plant.

“Despite the NRC’s rash decision, the fight is not over. Our appeals are pending before the Commission now, and if we have to take it up before a court at some point, we’ll likely do that, too.”

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​