Memorable smokestacks knocked down – Cutler plant demolition
While preparing a presentation for delivery at a local college, I ran across a video of Florida Power & Light’s August 10, 2013 demolition of the historic Cutler power plant in Palmetto Bay, Florida. Cutler Plant’s tall smokestacks played a role in my early interest in nuclear energy.
My father worked for FP&L as the supervisor of transmission substation engineering. When I was about eight years old, Dad told me about the new nuclear power plants that his company was building near Homestead, Florida that would not even need smokestacks. My memory may be failing me a bit, but I am pretty sure that conversation took place while we were munching on shelled peanuts in the shade under the ficus trees on the grounds of the Cutler Plant. That plant was the site of the company’s annual picnic; I have fond memories of those family gatherings at the private park in the shadow of the power plant and its smokestacks.
That long ago conversation was the start of my lifelong fascination with nuclear energy and its environmental superiority over competitive forms of power generation.
Unfortunately, despite the promising start, FP&L only built four nuclear units and did not replace all of its fossil fuel burning power plants. FP&L’s four nuclear units directly displaced the need to burn millions of tons of imported oil and prevented the emission of tens of millions of tons of CO2. Though many people opposed to nuclear energy conveniently forget this fact, the growth of nuclear energy in the US from 1973-1993 helped to push about 1.3 million barrels of oil per day out of the electrical power market, mostly in places like New England and South Florida.
The near term replacement for FP&L’s recently demolished Port Everglades and Cutler plants will be American natural gas, which is also capable of producing power without needing such tall smokestacks. Over the longer term, the company also plans to add two new Westinghouse AP1000 reactors to the Turkey Point power station. If completed, those plants will reduce natural gas consumption in one of the country’s most gas dependent states.
Additional Reading and Viewing
NBC 4 – Jax coverage of the demolitions of the Cutler Plant and Port Everglades Plant
It will be a cold day in hell before a new COL is granted again in the US.
I say no COL before one AP1000 is operational and the costing is known.
The NRC still has a moratorium on approving any new construction projects until the waste confidence rule is worked out with the courts. Therefore, no utility is going to spend effort gathering together all of the information for an Early Site Permit or COL and those utilities certainly aren’t going to sign any EPC contracts with suppliers and builders.
“Regulatory Uncertainty” helped to kill San Onofre, and will also prevent new projects from going forward.
If I’m not mistaken, FPL is presently performing some work in preparation for completing PTN Units 6 & 7 in Homestead, FL.
I predict that those 2 units will be the 5th and 6th GW-scale Gen III plants completed in America. I will not be surprised if SMRs subsequently make up most new nuclear builds in America from 2020 until approximately 2035.
This moratorium is self imposed by the NRC.
All 5 commissioners voted for if.
They have no courage.
I understand your pessimism, but will do everything I can to make it untrue.
Speaking of memory…
When I was a little kid, I remember driving thru Buffalo, NY in the early 1970’s on our way to Niagara Falls. The whole downtown was covered in soot. Factories and power plants all around belching out black smoke. Enormous smoke stacks. Whole sky was dark grey too. Today, pictures show downtown Buffalo as a beautiful pristine place. At least some of that mess was eliminated due to building so many nuclear plants in the area. I wish I could find some photos of downtown Buffalo from that era, to show a before and after. Without that sort of visualization, some people can’t appreciate how much nuclear power has improved living (and working) conditions for everyday people.
I’ll keep looking, but this site seems to be close to what you are looking for – except the city is Pittsburg, not Buffalo.
What Pittsburgh Looked Like When It Decided It Had a Pollution Problem
Pittsburgh’s really quite nice now (don’t pay attention to that air quality study…they put the sensors at the same height as the bus exhausts). There are still some buildings which will have 3 sides clean and one still dirty as a little reminder of how bad it used to be.
There are still some legacy issues. Bruce Mansfield Power Plant sits next to Beaver Valley (Two loop Westinghouse PWRs) and its fly ash is responsible for the ecological disaster that is Little Blue Run Pond (look it up). Still, by-in-large, the biggest ecological threat around here now is probably fracking to the North.
Kerry is vocal today at the AOEC summit about global warming.
I posted a comment on the Hill.com that the three amigos (Kerry Clinton Gore) all killed the most promising nuclear reactor is the US.
As it often occurs to me, my comment in the Hill.com was deleted.
Meant to say APEC summit.
More bad news. The EU in Brussels has just decided on a big No No for anything that looks or smells like a nuclear subsidy.
Wind solar and all the other crapolas can be aided by tax dollars.
I almost wish you had typed an extra T into Cutler, to see whether that would bring Bob Applebaum here, since I am pretty sure he has Google alerts set up for any of the names Jerry Cuttler, Ted Rockwell, Ed Calabrese, and maybe several others.
Eugene Smith shot many thousands of photographs in Pittsburgh in the mid 1950s. A selection of them is in a book called “Dream Street”. Some show the smoky conditions well – there are probably many unpublished images which would be even better for a “before and after” comparison.
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