Our Commitment to Safety
The Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant has an outstanding record of safe operations. It is designed to withstand earthquakes and other natural events stronger than ever recorded in the region. It is elevated 20 feet above sea level to protect against flooding and extreme storm surges. In 1992, the plant withstood the direct impact of Category 5 Hurricane Andrew with no damage to its nuclear systems. The site also added many redundant safety systems and equipment following the Fukushima incident.
In addition, many layers of security protect the plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, federal and local law enforcement, as well as FPL’s own expert security team, are always on alert to ensure that plant facilities are protected and secure.
As part of our commitment to safety, we test our emergency response system signals regularly. Siren tests are conducted by local emergency management officials on the first Friday of March, June, September and December, at 1 p.m., and last two minutes or less.
Learn more about the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant.
This guide contains important emergency planning information for people located within 10 miles of the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant. It was developed by emergency management officials and provides basic information about what to do in the event of a nuclear emergency. This information is updated annually.
Español/Creole: (305) 468-5400
Planning is an important part of FPL’s strategy to protect you and your family. Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant has a more than 40-year record of safe operations, but it makes sense to have a plan in the unlikely event of any emergency.
State and local officials, together with FPL, have prepared a detailed emergency plan to protect people who live, work, visit or go to school within 10 miles of the plant. The plan is tested by evaluated exercises and inspections. Conducting emergency drills improves the overall readiness of local authorities and enhances their ability to respond to emergencies.
If an emergency requires you to take any action, sirens will sound throughout the entire 10-mile emergency planning zone. Hearing a siren or receiving an emergency alert does not necessarily mean to evacuate the area.
Emergency Planning Zones
- The 10-mile area around the plant has been divided into evacuation/sheltering areas. These areas were established to allow local officials to provide clear evacuation and/or sheltering information for people in each area
- If there was an accident at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, it is not likely everyone within 10 miles would be affected. The area affected would depend on weather conditions, such as wind speed, wind direction and the severity of the situation.
How You Will be Notified
In the event of a serious emergency, public safety officials may use a variety of methods to notify people living within 10 miles of the plant, including:
- Outdoor warning sirens
- Emergency Alert System (Radio, Television, and NOAA Weather Radio)
- Door-to-door notifications
- Marine VHF-CH 16
- Miami-Dade Alerts
If you do not have a radio or television, dial 3-1-1 if calling within Miami-Dade County or (305) 468-5900 if outside the county, TDD: (305) 468-5402.
Emergency management officials will provide instructions on what you are to do. Remember, hearing an outdoor warning siren does not necessarily mean evacuate. Siren tests are conducted by local emergency management officials on the first Friday of March, June, September and December. Sirens may also occasionally be triggered by maintenance, lightning or electrical storms.
There are four emergency classifications at nuclear power plants. Each calls for a certain level of response from plant and government personnel.
- An Unusual Event is a minor incident such as severe weather. Because of strict regulations, a number of events must be classified and reported as “unusual events” even though they pose no threat or danger to the public. Unusual Events do not require you to take any action.
- An Alert is a minor incident that affects, or could potentially affect, reactor safety. There is the possibility of a small, limited release of radioactive material, but there is no danger posed to the public. If you are made aware of an alert, you should monitor local radio and television stations for official information.
- A Site Area Emergency is a more serious incident such as a major leak from the reactor coolant system, or an incident in which radioactive releases are possible or are occurring but will not affect the areas beyond the plant property. If a Site Area Emergency requires you to take action, sirens will sound, alerting you to tune to local radio or television stations for official information.
- A General Emergency is the most severe emergency classification. Radioactive releases that could affect the areas beyond the plant property are possible or are occurring and/or a major security event has occurred at the plant. If a General Emergency requires you to take action, sirens will sound, alerting you to tune to local radio or television stations for official information.
- If you hear a siren or receive an emergency alert, tune to local radio or television stations or check the internet for more information. Hearing a siren does not necessarily mean to evacuate. Get more information before deciding what to do.
- If there is an emergency, please check with family, friends and neighbors in the area to ensure they are aware of the situation and can take action if needed.
- Residents within the 10-mile emergency planning zone should familiarize themselves with the area map, evacuation routes and emergency reception center locations.
- Schools within the 10-mile emergency planning zone have emergency plans in place. Check with your school to verify its emergency plan.
- If you have a family member in a nursing home or hospital, do not try to pick them up. These facilities also have their own emergency evacuation procedures. You should check with the facility to familiarize yourself with these procedures.
- If you need evacuation assistance, contact local emergency management officials now.
- Familiarize yourself with sheltering in place and evacuation information.
In the unlikely event of an emergency at Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, you may be instructed to shelter in place, which means you should immediately go indoors. If you are already inside, stay there. Often sheltering in place provides the best protection.
Take the following steps:
- Bring children and pets indoors.
- Tune to an official radio or television station to monitor the situation and prepare to take additional directions from local officials.
- DO NOT pick up children at schools, preschools or registered daycares. Children will be sheltered in the school building and cared for by school personnel.
- Limit non-emergency phone calls.
- Close and lock all doors and windows. Locking doors and windows can provide a tighter seal.
- Turn off all ventilation systems that draw in outside air.
- Continue using ventilation systems if they recirculate the air inside the home.
- Cover food or place it in the refrigerator.
- Move to an interior room or basement.
- If you must go outside, cover your nose and mouth with a folded, damp cloth. When you return indoors, wash your face and hands and take a lukewarm shower, if possible.
- Do not evacuate unless you are told to do so.
In a vehicle
- If you are very close to home, your workplace or a public building, go there immediately and go inside. Follow the shelter in place recommendations for that location.
- If you are unable to get indoors quickly and safely, continue driving away from the nuclear plant for a distance of at least 10 miles.
- Close windows and vents.
- If possible, set the ventilation system to recirculate the air inside the vehicle. Avoid shutting off your air conditioning system if it is a hot day. Overheating your body can be dangerous.
- Listen to the radio for updated information and instructions.
In a workplace
Check with your workplace to learn their plans for dealing with a hazardous materials emergency. Their shelter in place plans should include the following:
- Employers should close the office, making any customers, clients or visitors in the building aware that they need to stay until the emergency is over. Close and lock all windows, exterior doors and any other openings to the outside.
- Avoid overcrowding by pre-selecting several interior rooms with the fewest number of windows or vents.
- A knowledgeable person should use the building’s mechanical systems to switch the ventilating and air conditioning systems to recirculate the air inside the structure, if possible.
- Employers should ask employees, customers, clients and visitors to call their emergency contacts to let them know where they are and that they are safe.
- If the business has voicemail or an automated attendant, it should be switched to a recording that indicates that the business is closed, and that staff and visitors are remaining in the building until authorities advise it is safe to leave.
- One person per room should write down the names of everyone in the room. Call your business designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you and their affiliation with your business (employee, visitor, client, customer).
- Listen to the radio or television for updated advice and instructions.
In the unlikely event of an emergency at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant, you may be asked to evacuate your home. State and local governments have established strict guidelines to ensure your safety and will provide updates on the actions you should take through local radio and television stations.
Take the following steps:
- Listen to local radio or television stations. Emergency officials will provide information and instructions.
- Follow evacuation directions.
- Lock doors and windows.
- Turn off faucets and appliances (except refrigerator).
- Pet owners are reminded that pets require special consideration. Pet owners must be prepared to care for and maintain control over their pets at all times. Please review the information below.
- Take necessities including clothing, toiletries, bedding and medicine for a few days. Bring a photo ID with your address. Click here for a full evacuation checklist.
- In addition to packing clothes for a few days, pack a separate change of clothes and shoes for each evacuee. Place the separate changes of clothing in a closed plastic garbage bag. Keep this clothing separate from the other packed clothing. The separate change of clothing per evacuee may be needed during the process of making sure contamination has been removed. Public Safety personnel will let you know if that becomes necessary.
- Individuals who are not within the declared evacuation area should not evacuate. They should continue to monitor the event and follow the instructions of the local authorities.
- Evacuating when not required has the potential to increase the risk to your family and others by impeding the outbound traffic flow and slowing the evacuation from the affected area.
- If you require evacuation assistance, make arrangements now by contacting your local emergency management agency. For additional information on the Emergency and Evacuation Assistance Program, visit miamidade.gov/fire/eeap.asp.
Emergency Reception Center Information
- Follow the evacuation routes provided. Law enforcement officers will be stationed along the way to direct you to the nearest emergency reception center outside the emergency planning zone. The emergency reception centers are designed to provide adequate food, shelter and communications.
- Please go to the reception center for monitoring and registration even if you and your family do not need housing.
- Please visit the county or state emergency management website or call 3-1-1 for additional information.
- Plan now for what you will do and how you will protect your pets. Please review the information below.
- If conditions warrant, the health department will make potassium iodide tablets available at the reception center. For more information about potassium iodide, contact your county health department. Miami-Dade: (305) 623-3500. Monroe: (305) 293-7500.
The Miami-Dade County Emergency Reception Center is located at Tamiami Park, SW 107th Avenue, between SW 8th Street and Coral Way (24th Street). To get to this reception center, take the Florida Turnpike Extension to the SW 40th Street (Bird Road) exit or Tamiami Trail exit (SW 8th Street). Law enforcement officers will direct you to Tamiami Park.
The Monroe County Emergency Reception Center and Shelter is located at the Key Largo School, 104801 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo. Law enforcement officers will assist and direct you.
Emergency Public Transportation
In the unlikely event of an evacuation, public transportation will be provided by Miami-Dade Transit at the locations listed below:
Zip code area 33030
- Aquarius Mobile Home Park, 451 E Lucy St.
- Boardwalk MHP, 100 NE 6 Ave.
- Cocowalk Estates, 220 NE 12 Ave.
- Homestead Senior Center, NE 16 Street and Krome Ave.
- Homestead Trailer Park, E Mowry Drive and SE 2 Rd.
- Laura Saunders Elementary, 505 SW 8 St.
- Police Athletic League Gym, 600 Redland Rd.
Zip code area 33032
- Hud-Pine Island, SW 272 Street and SW 127 Ave.
- Naranja Elementary, 13990 SW 264 St.
- Princetonian Mobile Home Park, 12900 SW 253 St.
Zip code area 33033
- Harris Field, Campbell Dr. and S Dixie Hwy.
- Palm Gardens Mhp, 28501 SW 152 Ave.
- Pine Isle Mhp, 28600 SW 132 Ave.
- South Dade Camp, 13600 SW 312 St.
Zip code area 33034
- Florida City – City Hall, 404 W Palm Dr.
Zip code area 33157
- Cutler Ridge Park, 10100 SW 200 St.
- East Ridge Retirement Village, SW 193 Ter. & SW 216 St.
Zip code area 33170
- Mays Middle School, 11700 SW 216 St.
Zip code area 33189
- Centennial Middle School, 8601 SW 212 St.
- Franjo Park, 20175 Franjo Rd.
- Southland Mall (south side), 10850 SW 211 St.
If you have no transportation, call one of the following numbers: Ocean Reef Public Safety (305) 367-2222, Monroe County Social Services (305) 853-1923.
If you are directed to evacuate, you will want to take your pets with you. Plan now for what you will do and how you will protect them. Please keep in mind that pet owners are ultimately responsible for their pet’s needs at the public shelter.
- Space for pets at public shelters is limited and is intended for individuals with pets living in areas ordered to evacuate.
- Owners should bring identification since it may be necessary for pet and owner reunification.
- Pet owners should bring a kennel or carrier, food for five days, bedding, bowls, toys, and any needed pet medications.
- Livestock and reptiles will NOT be accepted at public pet shelters.
- Aggressive animals or animals classified as dangerous or potentially dangerous may be sedated or need special handling to eliminate the threat to the public or responders.
- All dogs and cats should have a current rabies vaccination, dog license, or microchip, and be current on flea and tick preventive measures.
- The opening and closing of the pet portion of the shelter will coincide with the opening and closing of the general population shelter.
- The shelter will not be liable for lost items, injury, and contraction of contagious diseases or parasites from other animals.
- Pet owners will not be permitted to leave the shelters without their pets.
- Only service and ESP animals will be permitted to accompany their owners in the general population shelter areas. Non service animals may be housed in a separate area of the shelter.
If you have livestock
- Place the animals in an enclosed shelter if possible. Provide for adequate ventilation to prevent overheating and suffocation.
- If you are told to evacuate, leave enough water and food for several days.
- Use stored feed when possible.
- Tune to local radio or television stations for additional instructions and information.
If you grow food products
- Do not eat or sell products until further instructions are issued by agricultural officials.
- Tune to local radio or television stations for additional instructions and information.
For more information, contact your local agricultural extension agent and ask for the brochure titled, “Agriculture and Nuclear Power in Florida.”
If you require evacuation assistance, make arrangements now
- If you require help to evacuate due to a medical condition, specialized transportation need or other evacuation assistance requirement, you should preregister with your local emergency management agency. Individuals who may require evacuation assistance include those who:
- are unable to evacuate on their own due to a specialized transportation requirement
- are homebound residents that are unable to walk to a bus pick-up point and do not have anyone that can provide transportation
- have medical needs that prevent them from evacuating on their own
- are bed bound patients
- are electrically dependent patients on life sustaining medical equipment that requires electricity
- may require assistance with activities of daily living
For additional information on the Emergency and Evacuation Assistance Program, please visit the county or state’s Emergency Management’s website or call 3-1-1 for additional information.
Residents in a nursing home, hospital, assisted living facility, private school, daycare, preschool, or jail facility
These facilities will follow their emergency management plans, which include evacuation procedures.
Check with the facility in advance to verify its evacuation plan.
Benefits of Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant
- Produces no greenhouse gases or emissions
- Produces clean, reliable and affordable electricity
- Provides hundreds of high-quality jobs for local residents
- Is a leader in environmental stewardship in the region
- Is an economic engine for the entire state
Understanding Nuclear Power Plants
Nuclear power plants create steam to turn the blades of a turbine to generate electricity. Nuclear plants use uranium fuel in a process called nuclear fission. The fission reaction generates heat to create steam.
The uranium fuel inside the reactor is radioactive. It is securely contained and constantly monitored to protect public safety and health. The fuel is encased in ceramic pellets which are stacked end-to-end inside long metal tubes. The tubes are assembled into fuel bundles that are immersed in water in the reactor core. The core is housed inside a nine-inch thick pressure vessel. That vessel is inside a robust containment building made of steel-lined concrete.
What is Radiation?
Radiation is not new or mysterious – it is a natural part of our environment. Radiation is energy that is given off as a particle or wave and radioactive elements are naturally occurring in small amounts throughout our environment. In the United States, natural sources account for most of the radiation we are exposed to each year. Radiation also comes from medical tests such as X-rays, CT scans and nuclear medicine studies. Normal everyday items such as smoke detectors also emit small amounts of radiation. Less than one percent of the radiation to which people are exposed comes from nuclear power plants.
Radiation is measured in units called millirems. A millirem is a unit used to measure the amount of radiation a person receives. The graphic shows how much radiation we get from different sources. For radiation to cause any measurable biological effect in human beings, most scientists agree that the exposure must reach about 25,000 millirems in a single, short exposure.
Exposure to large amounts of radiation can be harmful to human health. However, given the nuclear industry’s strong commitment to safety, such exposures are extremely unlikely.
Numerous monitoring devices placed in and around the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant can detect even minute amounts of radiation. If radiation amounts increase above naturally occurring background levels, the monitoring equipment would alert plant operators, who would notify state and county officials.
Special protective actions are available to prevent exposure to radioactive iodine. Iodine is a major fission product which may be released during nuclear power plant accidents. Iodine is of particular interest because it tends to concentrate in the thyroid gland, just as iron concentrates in blood or calcium in bone.
An amount of radiation exposure which would be of little concern if spread throughout the entire body, may become a problem if concentrated in the thyroid. To prevent this exposure, you may be advised to take a thyroid blocking pill, typically containing potassium iodide. The thyroid blocking pill contains non-radioactive iodine which, when taken before or immediately after exposure to radioactive iodine, saturates the thyroid with non-radioactive iodine. Since additional iodine will not be absorbed by the thyroid, any radioactive iodine subsequently taken up by the body will remain spread throughout the body and will be quickly excreted.
Authorities are required to have potassium iodide (KI) readily available for residents within the 10-mile emergency planning zone around a nuclear power plant. These residents are considered most at risk, and initial distribution will be focused primarily on that mission. As more personnel and resources become available, KI may be available to others. It must be understood that use of a thyroid blocking pill is not an adequate substitute for prompt evacuation or sheltering by the general population near a plant in response to a severe accident.
Emergency plans are designed to protect you in the unlikely event of a nuclear station emergency. State and local government officials have established guidelines to protect people from radiation. These guidelines call for protective actions at levels far below those that could be harmful to your health. If state and local officials expect radiation levels to reach the established guidelines, the emergency alert system will be used to let you know how you can best protect yourself and your family.