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FPL gets key approval for nuclear project

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given key approval to a Florida Power & Light project that could lead to adding two nuclear reactors in Miami-Dade County.

The commission announced Thursday that it had authorized staff members to issue what is known as “combined licenses” for reactors at FPL’s Turkey Point site.

“The commission found the staff’s review of FPL’s application adequate to make the necessary regulatory safety and environmental findings,” the federal agency said in a news release. “The staff expects to issue the licenses in the next few days.”

FPL has been seeking the licenses for years, though it has not committed to building the 1,100-megawatt reactors. Critics have argued that FPL has not adequately shown that the nuclear project is feasible.

But the Florida Public Service Commission said in October that it was reasonable for the utility to continue pursuing the licenses.

“I think the COL (combined operating license) is basically a 20-year option,” Public Service Commission member Art Graham, now the commission’s chairman, said at the time. “Are we going to do it in the foreseeable future? Are we looking to have that option on the table? And I think we’ve come this far; you need to have that option on the table.”

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