Florida ANS Students Steal Show at Turkey Point Siting Hearing

Florida governor Rick Scott and his cabinet met on May 13 for the final state-level site selection determination for new AP1000 nuclear reactors planned to be built at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in southern Florida. The hearing was well-attended by opponents and supporters.

In attendance were the Energy Information Center “student army”—including nine nuclear engineering students from the University of Florida who spoke in favor of the plant. They are all members of the American Nuclear Society’s Student Section at the university. The students are Madison Martin, Jitesh Kuntawala, Patrick Moo, Joseph Cashwell, Logan Blohm, Lucianne Behar, Hernan Godoy, Jonathan Rosales, and Nicolas Silva.

“They were very effective,” said Jerry Paul, director of the Energy Information Center. “In fact, they somewhat stole the show. I counted six times when another speaker (including the governor) made reference to them.”

The students stood as a group and provided testimony in support of the new reactors. Most moving to the audience were the following comments:

“Our generation is the future of clean energy and the future of our economy. New nuclear energy supply is essential to both… nuclear energy means jobs… This is attractive to students who graduate college and look for jobs that can help them get a start (especially those of us who have student loans to pay off!). These nuclear plants represent the future employment of engineers like us.”

UF students with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Governor Rick Scott, Commissioner Adam Putnam, CFP Jeff Atwater

UF students with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Governor Rick Scott, Commissioner Adam Putnam, and CFO Jeff Atwater

The governor and cabinet ultimately voted unanimously to approve the site selection for the reactors.

Congratulations to these fine students on a job well done.

Students Capitol 5-13-14 ac 270x360

UF students with Jerry Paul

World Nuclear News has more on the story today: Turkey Point expansion gets Florida state approval.


jerry paul 2 100x124Jerry Paul is a nuclear engineer, attorney, and former member of the Florida legislature. He was principal deputy administrator of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration and was the Distinguished Fellow for Energy Policy at the University of Tennessee Howard Baker Center for Public Policy. He is director of the Energy Information Center.

4 thoughts on “Florida ANS Students Steal Show at Turkey Point Siting Hearing

  1. James Greenidge

    Kudos ANS Students! Even more than engineers we need far more grass-roots-hitting nuclear evangelist Carl Sagans coming out of that group!

    Be VERY interested in the general audience consensus and what FUD the opponents had to throw — and in what matter they were thoroughly “corrected”. PR and nuke public education lessons learned here can aid other plants and their localities.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. Scott Medwid

    The current student generation, their kids and their grand kids will be carrying the load of transitioning from a majority fossil fuel powered economy and civilization to a new energy paradigm . Roof top solar is nice if one can afford it but society and industry require thousands of square kilometers of installation surface. The wind is free but what will hundreds of thousands of wind turbine towers do to wildlife and local climates? How many more hydro dams can we build? The distributed power grid theorized by the Stanford study and Rocky Mountain Institute will require massive importation of rare earth element components from China or the reopening of U.S. REE mines. The big question is this, will the radical ideas of a renewable energy only “Solartopia” put our young students generation (and future generations) at great risk? I think these ANS students in Florida are the vanguard of the return to rational thinking on national energy policy. Cheers to them all and Good Show!

  3. ActindeAge

    Thrilled at the news of two more new reactors, and these students’ triumphant efforts are just icing on the cake. You should all be very proud!

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