The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy filed a petition Monday to block a St. Lucie nuclear reactor from returning to service until the public vets unusual wear inside the plant's steam generators.
In a complaint to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Southern Alliance accused the NRC of allowing unit two of the St. Lucie nuclear complex to operate outside of its license.
The Southern Alliance argued that plant owner Florida Power & Light omitted components without formal NRC approval, contributing to premature steam generator tube wear.
"We are troubled that the NRC is allowing FPL to operate unit two essentially in an experimental state due to the significant modifications that have occurred with the steam generator replacements," said Stephen Smith, Southern Alliance's executive director.
Michael Waldron, an FPL spokesman, dismissed the group's claims as just part of an "antinuclear" agenda.
"This petition is not about the safety of St. Lucie," he said. "It's a transparent attempt by an out-of-state, antinuclear group to advance a political agenda."