Jellyfish Invasion Keeps UK Nuclear Power Plant Shut Down


Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch

Doing an even better job than activist environmentalists might have done, a bloom of jellies has caused a UK nuclear plant to stay offline, since the jellies would clog up the intake of water for cooling. Reuters reports that the invasion is affecting EDF Energy's Torness nuclear power plant in Scottish, which kept reactors offline on Wednesday to avoid the jellies gumming up the works.

Interestingly, the report also says that this could be an event that will become more common as oceans that are growing more acidic as the water absorbs more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The changing pH balance of the water is actually just fine for jellies. And it helps that the water around the east coast of Scotland is actually one degree Celsius above average for this time of year.

"Jellyfish can bloom in really high numbers. It's not particularly common, (EDF Energy) have been a bit unlucky. If you get a bit of calm and warm weather they can turn up inshore in high numbers," David Conway, a marine biologist at the Marine Biological Association, told Reuters.

While it's bad news for a nuclear power plant, the blooms are good news for endangered leatherback turtles, which have been drawn to the recent blooms around the UK.

As of now, the nuclear plant operators are working to clear the jellies away from the water near the station, and have hopes for reactor 1 to return to service on July 5 and reactor 2 on July 6.

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Tags: Alternative Energy | Animals | Nuclear Power | Oceans