St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant

The St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant required intake canal dredging and the replacement of a five-foot turtle barrier net. 

Scope of Work
The project included the design and construction of a Dredge Material Management Area (DMMA), mobilizing and overseeing dive crews, and supervising a dredging crew to remove 34,000 cubic yards of material from the intake. Due to the extremely sensitive dynamics of the protected species that end up in the intake canal, the work also included extensive biological and environmental monitoring to maintain the facility’s operability during the entire dredging operation.

Innovative Solutions
Ballard provided innovative strategies to address the project needs with the main emphasis on safety, environmental controls, and quality. When evaluating the work, several factors were identified as potentially affecting nuclear safety – the harm to sea turtles can affect the plant’s license to operate; an oil or chemical spill can affect the plant’s ability to operate; as well as foreign material, such as turbidity curtains, blocking an intake screen. The Environmental Protection Plan utilized an electric suction dredge which eliminated hundreds of gallons of hydraulic fluid and fuel on the water. Multiple layers of containment were also used to protect the small amount of fuel that was needed to operate the dredge. These multiple layers included secondary containments for all equipment, as well as a pair of oil booms stretched diagonally across the intake canal with an oil skimmer staged on the downstream edge of the project in case of a spill. Ballard has decades of experience and performance history navigating through these types of hazards, giving customers and clients the best value with the least amount of risk.

Ballard developed and implemented Quality Control (QC) plans that actively tracked and communicated the work performed each day and how each completed task was verified and accepted. Human performance tools were utilized throughout each phase of work and were regularly discussed in each day’s safety meeting and pre-job brief. A daily QC report, including color photographs, was submitted to the client project team to communicate the progress and challenges encountered each day.

Client: Florida Power and Light
Location: St. Lucie Country
Diver Depth: 25ft


• Barge Construction
• Critical Crane Lifts
• Demolition
• Diver Assisted Dredging
• Geotextile Tubes
• HDPE Piping Installation
• Heavy Lift Crane Operations
• Intake Structure Cleaning
• Lift Bags and Specialty Rigging
• Offshore Services
• Potable Water Diving
• Specialized Vessels
• Surface Supplied Air Diving
• Turbidity Boom
• Underwater Inspection
• Underwater Cutting/Welding
• Underwater Dredging
• Underwater Excavation
• Underwater Structure Measurements