FPL Sues Nuclear Energy Industry Group

Florida Power & Light and three related companies have filed a federal lawsuit against a nuclear-energy industry group, arguing they have been improperly shut out of a database used to help screen workers at nuclear-power plants.

FPL and the other companies, all part of the parent NextEra Energy Inc., filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court in West Palm Beach against the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The lawsuit said NextEra gave notice Jan. 4 that it would not continue to pay membership dues to the Nuclear Energy Institute because of the institute’s positions on other types of energy sources such as natural gas. The lawsuit said the institute’s positions could “harm the NextEra companies’ business.” But while it dropped its membership in the institute, NextEra said its companies were entitled to continue accessing an industry database that provides security-related information about nuclear-plant workers.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, which administers the database, notified NextEra last week that it would prevent access to the database unless NextEra renewed its membership in the institute, the lawsuit said. NextEra contends that the institute’s decision breached an agreement about access to the database. The lawsuit said lack of access to the database could affect a planned FPL maintenance “outage,” scheduled to start Wednesday, at the utility’s St. Lucie nuclear plant.

Workers at the plant increase from about 700 to nearly 1,700 during such an outage. Other plaintiffs in the case are NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, which operates a nuclear plant in Iowa; NextEra Energy Point Beach, which operates a nuclear plant in Wisconsin; and NextEra Energy Seabrook, which operates a nuclear plant in New Hampshire.

Reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida

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