Judge Sides with Nuclear Group in FPL Dispute


A federal judge rejected arguments by Florida Power & Light and three related companies in a dispute with a nuclear-energy trade group about access to a database used to help screen workers at nuclear power plants.

The database is administered by the Nuclear Energy Institute, with nuclear-plant operators able to get information about workers. The dispute began early this year when NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent of FPL and the related companies, decided to drop membership in the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The trade group said the move would lead to the NextEra companies losing access to the worker-screening database, which is known as the Personnel Access Data System, or PADS. The NextEra companies filed the lawsuit arguing they shouldn’t be cut off from the database. But U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks on Tuesday ruled in favor of the Nuclear Energy Institute, rejecting arguments that the group breached an agreement about participation in the system. “I conclude as a matter of 1aw that the agreement unambiguously limits PADS participation to current NEI members,” Middlebrooks wrote. “As such, defendant’s (the Nuclear Energy Institute’s) termination of plaintiffs’ access to PADS was not a breach of any provision of the agreement.”

Reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida