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Jellyfish Shut Down Nuclear Power Plant

Jellyfish Shut Down Nuclear Power Plant


An invasion of jellyfish managed to stop operations at a nuclear power plant in eastern Scotland after high volumes of the creatures flooded water filters and clogged the cooling system.

EDF Energy’s Torness nuclear power station near Dunbar, East Lothian uses seawater to cool its reactors and on June 28 a large influx of jellyfish were “sucked in” as the part of the process and blocked the water screens, reported Sky News.

Operators manually shut down the two reactors at the facility as a precautionary measure.

A spokesperson for EDF Energy told Sky News, “At no time was there any danger to the public.”

Staff also reassured the community the event had no impact on the environment.

“Reduced cooling water flows due to ingress from jelly fish, seaweed and other marine debris are considered as part of the station’s safety case and are not an unknown phenomenon,” reported AFP.

Work is underway to clear the jellyfish from the waters near the power station.  The surge of jellyfish in the area is believed to have occurred because of a rise in the temperature in the North Sea.

Since 2002 scientists have noted massive increases in jellyfish populations around the world.  Some attribute this to overfishing, declining water quality and rising sea temperatures.  Jellyfish are some of the only creatures that can survive in “oxygen-starved Dead Zones.” And in many parts of the world they have lost their main predator, the sea turtle.

Jellyfish are not the only animals to become trapped in nuclear plants.  Earlier this month, an Atlantic Grey Seal chased a school of fish into the cooling system at another nuclear station. The seal, named Celia by staff wasn’t hurt, but could not swim away without help.  She was examined by a veterinarian and released at a nearby beach.

Photo: Creative Commons Sam Howzit

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7:59AM PST on Nov 19, 2011

I guess that the poor jelly fish died.

3:19PM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

When are we going to realize all the damage we are causing the planet. When fish get sucked in these cooling systems they do die!

3:54PM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

Where were these jellies before the Japanese earthquakes? We really needed them then. Mother nature's revenge!

2:07AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Good for the jellyfish. They probably know that the power plant is dangerous. They're pretty smart critters, you know.

7:44AM PDT on Jul 3, 2011

not really a comment on the story....but the photo is beautiful

8:54PM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

I hope the jellyfish weren't hurt, but I suppose they were.

6:03PM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

it would seem by shutting down this nuclear power plant jellyfish have shown themselves to be wiser than humans

2:13PM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

I hope that soon all nuclear power plants will be shut down. They are just too dangerous. I was happy to hear that the German populace has united to express opposition to these disasters waiting to happen.

11:44AM PDT on Jul 2, 2011

Its like God is telling man: you think you are big and powerful, but look how a tiny, little brain-less creature can destroy your gigantic machines and make a fool of you.
Jellyfish for the win :D

2:27AM PDT on Jul 2, 2011


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