Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



In 1972-73, Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) began operation of two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point on lower Biscayne Bay. The reactors are of the pressurized water type, each capable of 760 megawatts gross output and each requiring a large quantity of cooling water. Originally the demand for sufficient water for the operation of the nuclear reactors was to be met by a single-pass cooling system, utilizing Bay water (essentially an enlargement of the existing fossil fuel units cooling system). The proposed increase in cooling water requirement, from 1270 cu ft/sec to 4260 cu ft/sec, that would be required to accommodate both power systems, invoked considerable concern among several environmental groups. As a result, FPL was required to alter its oríginal plans and construct a 'closed' cooling system, thereby minimÍzing the thermal load on the lower bay-sound system. The total system (nuclear reactors, fossil fuel units, and 'closed' cycle cooling) has now been fully operational for more than two years. One radioactive by-product resultíng from the operation of the nuclear reactors, tritium, provides a unique opportunity to study transport and exchange processes on a local scale. Since the isotope in the form of water is not removed from the liquid effluent, it is díscharged to the cooling canal system. By studying its residence time in the canal and the pathways by which it leaves the canals, we can enhance our knowledge of evaporative process, groundwater movement, and bay exchange with the ocean.

In this report, we discuss some preliminary results obtained from measurement of tritium levels, both in the canal system and in the surrounding environment. Hopefully, these measurements will provide guidelines for a continuing quantitative study.

In this report, we discuss


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