Friday, March 27, 2009

FPL backs out of Turkey Point nuclear safety meeting

Florida Power & Light representatives failed to show last night at the South Dade Government Center to discuss nuclear safety at the Turkey Point power plant.

That, to the surprise of none of those present, as word had already circulated among the citizens and residents of Miami-Dade County who turned up in order to share their concerns at the public meeting called by Commissioner Katy Sorensen (District 8).

WFOR-CBS4's Natalia Zea was on hand to cover the meeting and the station aired a report in its 11 pm nightly newscast, complete with comments by Sorensen about the "arrogance" of FPL in not showing up and a written response from FPL on its reasoning for not sending a representative:

View the full video online at CBS4, here.

WPLG-Local 10 also covered the meeting, though their nightly news report estimate of 50 attendees falls short of the nearly 100 in Stop FPL's head-count of the packed meeting room:

View the full WPLG-10 video online, here.

Those who did show up ranged from environmentalists and neighbors living in the shadow of Turkey Point concerned about recent reports of safety breaches at the plant, to leaders and residents of nearby communities concerned about high-voltage transmission lines from the Turkey Point 6 & 7 reactors running along US 1. But, the empty chairs at the front of the meeting hall clearly showed that FPL feels it has no need to address such concerns face to face with its customers.

Sorenensen had cautioned in a letter to the Miami Herald on Thursday that FPL might well be a no-show, but still urged the utility to send representatives to the meeting to explain recent reports of safety breaches at the plant.

Miami New Times' Tim Elfrink posted at the Riptide 2.0 blog late in the afternoon on FPL's expected no-show and like CBS4 shared the lame excuse from FPL for not engaging with its customers on their Turkey Point safety concerns in the form of a carefully prepared text.

Likewise, blogger Jorge Lune also contacted FPL and was treated with a similar written response from the company.

While FPL may think it can get away with not responding to a meeting request from a County Commissioner and its customers, it may not have it so easy in April when it will have to appear before a public meeting convened by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on April 23rd.

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